"A" is for...Artichokes!|
History / Geography
California touts being the major US producer of artichokes, and France, Italy and Spain are the major European producers.
The artichoke is the flower bud of a thistle plant. Its biological name is Cynara Scolymus.
There are three types of artichokes: Globe, Jerusalem and Chinese (Japanese). All of which are unrelated! The true artichoke is the Globe artichoke, and there are over 50 varieties!
March though May
How to Select
You will want to choose an artichoke that has tight leaves, one that is heavy for its size, with a deep green color and when the leaves are rubbed together, there should be a squeaking sound. Avoid any artichokes that have cracked leaves or are showing any
brown discoloration. Artichokes can also be found canned in a brine solution and in a jar
in an oil based marinade.
Store artichokes unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for no longer than 4 days. After cooking, artichokes can be stored in an airtight container for a maximum of 3 days.
Artichokes contain high levels of potassium and Vitamin A.
Jumbo artichokes are best for stuffing, where as baby artichokes are best for sauteing. The baby artichokes tend to be more tender, and the rounder the artichoke, the bigger the heart! The bottom of the artichoke is flat and dish-shaped at the stem below the leaves. The heart is the young, bud-shaped inner leaves. It is soft and not yet fuzzy!
Fume Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc
bouquet garni, herbes de Provence, marjoram, paprika, parsley and savory
1 large or 2 small artichokes per serving
Click here for the complete article and recipes!
Arroz con Pollo - Chicken and Rice
This dish can be easily made for a crowd if you substitute cut chicken pieces (not wing tips),
one chicken per recipe. The recipe also doubles well and can be cooked in a large dutch oven,
roasterm or in the oven. Eat this soon after it's finished cooking, though, because it loses its nuances if you have to
2 whole chicken breasts
1 quart water seasoned with salt, bay leaf, and peppercorns
1 cup long grain rice
4 tbsp. salad oil
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, finely mashed
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup bell pepper slices
Poach chicken breasts in seasoned water for about 15 minutes and allow to cool in their broth. Set aside.
Saute rice in salad oil until golden in color, then add 2 cups chicken stock, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then lower heat.
Cut poached chicken into bite - sized pieces and arrange, with sliced bell pepper, on top of boiling rice. COver and cook over very low heat for 35 minutes. Serve with hot corn tortillas and guacamole, if desired.
Makes 4 servings.
Welcome to our first issue of the Alphabet Soup Newsletter for 2010! When putting together these
newsletters, we will continue to search the MomsMenu.com web site as well as the internet to bring
you kitchen and food related information based on the letters A through Z.
We will also begin to change the
look and feel of this newsletter and invite you to come along and join us in our culinary journey!
Editor in Chief
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One (1) lucky winner will receive a $100.00 Gift Card from Crate and Barrel.
Points & Prizes Members: This week's code word is ARTICHOKE for 150 points!
Sign in to redeem your points now. EXPIRES ON 01/06/10.