Recipe Project #17, 18, and 19: Braised Baby Artichokes and Shallots, Homemade Tortilla Chips, Buttermilk Pancakes

Does a dish count for the Recipe Project if I never actually tasted it? I think so.

What happened was, I was wandering through the Wegman’s produce section one day and happened upon baby artichokes for about $1.25 a pound. They were pretty and wee and I took them home even though I had no idea what to do with them.

Baby artichokes

Then they sat in the fridge for a few days until I dug up this rather simple recipe for Braised Baby Artichokes and Shallots. I also had some shallots that needed to be used up before our annual road trip, so all the better. I stripped off leaves and sliced and doused and got it all mingling together in the pan.

Braised baby artichokes and shallots, about halfway done

After I added the liquid and threw a lid on top, I turned back to the bushel of little artichoke leaves that were in the sink. (Our sink with the garbage disposal that’s about as old as I am.) It turned out that while baby artichokes leaves are indeed tenderer than big artichoke leaves, they are not tender enough to go down these sorts of tubes. There was backflow and plunging and the opening of traps and a bunch of fetid artichoke fluid and trips to Home Depot to procure a snake. When everything was put back together three hours later and all of the gunk cleaned up from under the cabinets and the floor, I could not bear the smell of artichokes for another second. And so everything in that pan went down the repaired pipes quite nicely. I have no idea what it tasted like and I will not be eating artichokes for quite awhile.

The other two things I made were part of our effort to eat down the kitchen in preparation for being gone. I had avocados and other things for guacamole, but no chips. Some rummaging in the fridge turned up some half-dead flour tortillas, and I remembered various bloggers writing about making their own chips. So I brushed one side of each tortilla with corn oil, stacked them up, cut them into eighths, spread the pieces on a baking sheet and sprinkled some sea salt around. They went into a 250 degree oven for about 20 minutes. I pulled them when they crisped and curled a bit and they were okay, pretty good, not bad. Would have been better if they had been corn tortillas, but they made serviceable and crunchy guacamole scoops.

And an effort to use up half a container of buttermilk and a package of bacon lead to making this super-simple pancake recipe from Gourmet, which I added a dollop of oil and vanilla to. It works very well and will be the default pancake recipe around here for the summer, or until I get bored and continue the Great Pancake Search.

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3 Responses to Recipe Project #17, 18, and 19: Braised Baby Artichokes and Shallots, Homemade Tortilla Chips, Buttermilk Pancakes

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  2. Joanna says:

    Oh, such a bummer about the garbage disposal, because I adore dishes with baby artichokes; you frequently get to eat them in Spain where they are available fresh and tender for a long time due to the climate.

  3. Krista says:

    I love dishes that contain them, but had never cooked them myself. And I’ve never had a Spanish dish with them. Must go to Spain!

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