Stuffed artichokes show up on almost every holiday table in my family - they were one of Grandma's (RIP) specialties I never realized how much work these suckers were. I tried to prepare some last week only for the second time. Once again I made quite a mess and once again I broke one in half - which actually was a good thing because it let me explode the anatomy of a choke just a bit. After looking at may recipes and other online tutorials I remain confused about some basic things
1. Remove the fuzzy part or not?
some recipes made this a primary objective - other's never mentioned its existence. Do I really need to? only when stuffing?
2. use the stem?
some said to chop it up and use in the stuffing - without peeling it was not appetizing - peeled it was virtually non existent
3. How much do I remove?
between removing the outer leaves, the inner purple ones, the tops off all remaining I feel like almost nothing was left - but all that seemed useless - just a lot of work and waste to get to the tasty part I guess.
4. Stuff the center?
So many recipes only mentioned stuffing between the leaves and never mentioned a big dollop of stuffing in the center of the choke - this seems like a big missed opportunity
5. How to spread the petals?
I felt like I was fighting them the whole time. Is there something I can do to make the bud more pliable? Soaking it perhaps?
All in all my chokes were tasty - stuffed with sardines, romano, breadcrumbs, garlic and lemon w egg binder but they were not pretty - any tips and trick for next time? Scissors for trimming the petals was the primary breakthrough