IF ALEXA CAME TO DINNER, PART TWO

Custom warns wine lovers to give artichokes a wide berth, as they’re allegedly “wine killers.” To work past this barricade, however, consider that the Italians love artichokes and they love wine, and they often serve artichokes before the meal because of the belief that artichokes make whatever follows taste sweet. So start with a tart, crisp wine that’s tilted to the acidic side, and chances are an artichoke dish will actually lean it toward balance.

(from wineloverspage.com)

 

The second bottle came out of my case of Kleine Zalze, Alexa had said of it … a secret favourite of mine the Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc 2006….It’s not on the list *smile*  But I have a couple of bottles left in my store room.  Full. Creamy. Oxidative Style. 8 months French oak. 10% botrytis. Aromatic and Brilliant. (I can try to get you one – only if you’re interested in the heavier, robust styles of Chenin.  Not for the faint hearted).

With my main course being very rich, I wanted a light and refreshing starter. I decided to keep it very simple; a warm salad of artichoke, asparagus and prawns in a capsicum and citrus dressing; with Tandy’s easy mayonnaise for dipping.

While I was browsing the internet for inspiration on what to do with my artichokes, I came across this:

“These things are just plain annoying. After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual “food” out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps. Have the shrimp cocktail instead.”
Miss Piggy

You have it all wrong, Miss Piggy, combined they make a party on a plate.

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44 Comments Add yours

  1. linda says:

    I think I must try artichokes sometime soon. I have no idea what to do with them. Sorry can’t do the meal above as I don’t eat shrimp or seafood or meat except chicken or turkey. Sorry to them. I will quite those as well one. Your presentations are just so wonderful. And to think we poured our spaghetti sauce right out of the jar tonight. I feel such a slob. I need some dishes and containers and serving pieces thats the problem. I need a much larger kitchen. I need more windows. Its dark and I hate my kitchen. Then I finally bought curtains for it and they are dark and I hate them. Oh so sorry didn’t mean to go off on a tangent.

    1. theonlycin says:

      You simply boil artichokes, with a bit of garlic, a lemon cut in half and a bay leaf. For about 45 minutes.

  2. slpmartin says:

    Oh…now that looks just perfect…I’m adding it to my list of things to try soon…good night my friend.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Sweet dreams, Charlie.

    1. theonlycin says:

      In a good way, Doc?

  3. nrhatch says:

    That. Looks. Fabulous.

    Artichokes, Asparagus, and Shrimp . . . perfect together. I would serve them with a curry flavored dipping sauce.

    1. theonlycin says:

      My shrimp was citrussy and my artichoke lemony, curry would have been overkill, especially as the main course was masala-laced 🙂

  4. That looked like a plate party

    1. theonlycin says:

      It was very nice, even though I had it at my desk, alone.

  5. earlybird says:

    That looks delicious – and I haven’t even had my morning coffee yet! I love artichokes (particularly the hearts). Here we tend to eat artichokes warm or cold just with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and fleur de sel. Locals also eat the little ones raw – as do the Italians. (There are a couple of recipes on my blog for baby artichokes.)

    1. theonlycin says:

      A lot of people are intimidated by artichokes, I have no idea why.

  6. souldipper says:

    I love artichoke because of the whole ceremony of pulling off a leaf, dipping it in mayonnaise (I will have to try Tandy’s – looks delish) and scraping off the meatiness with my teeth. Sharing an artichoke has usually been a great conversation piece. I didn’t notice that it sweetens the palate. That’s interesting!

    1. theonlycin says:

      We live and learn, Amy.

  7. earlybird says:

    it just occured to me – isn’t it autumn over there? where does your asparagus come from? it’s spring here and ours has only just started.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, we’ve went straight from summer to winter, no autumn. No idea, maybe it’s hothouse grown?

  8. Supa says:

    Hahahaha! you turned the pic around!!! 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, I wasn’t going to have you lot going Honolulu-cookoo on me again ;p

  9. adeeyoyo says:

    Very attractive plate, Cindy – looks appetising and inviting! 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks adee, I enjoyed making it.

  10. Tilly Bud says:

    That’s not food; that’s art. Wow.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Tilly, that’s very flattering.

  11. Yummy – it’s been forever since I ate and artichoke. Wonderful flavour combinations on your plate.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      It really was a cracker combo, mandy 🙂

  12. Thanks for article. I think that this article is interesting . I like your post. I need to know how can I subscribe to your blog?. I will be follow you blog each 7 days.

    1. theonlycin says:

      There’s a subscribe box in my side bar.

  13. I like artichokes. We rarely drink wine. Special occasions at my brother’s home. When I open one of those little 4 ounce bottles for cooking, I may not use it all. We split the rest of the bottle. It’s gone before I finish cooking. I’ve never tried to prepare an artichoke. It looks complicated. Your dish looks simple, healthy, and delicious. Blessings to you, Cindy…

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s not complicated at all, boil for about 50 minutes, add a clove of garlic, a halved lemon and a bay leaf. Cut in half and remove the choke. 🙂

      1. Thank you, Cindy. I’ll have to try that.

  14. SuziCate says:

    How pretty is that plate! I have never had artichokes (fresh or otherwise) other than marinated hearts in a salad. I guess the only reason being I have no idea what to do with them, but I am willing to learn.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I actually prefer the tinned marinated hearts, but don’t tell anyone 😉

  15. Tandy says:

    they are a lot of hard work for a few bites of pleasure 🙂 Thanks for the ping back. On Master Chef John Torode wondered how on earth someone would think of combining artichokes and asparagus – but I love the combination 🙂

  16. Beautiful presentation Cindy, I imagine it would indeed be ‘a party on a plate’ – wonderful flavours 🙂

  17. bluebee says:

    Gotta love Miss Piggy 😀

  18. You are really becoming PRO at food photography!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Leon, that is very kind of you 🙂

  19. I have never had an artichoke, but I do love wine!
    Xx

  20. Fat Gary says:

    I love artichokes and I love prawns, never thought of having them together before – nice idea! I’m very pleased to hear the 06 green label chenin is still good as I have a case of it back home and I was wondering how it must taste at this age. I don’t think KZ even make it anymore actually.

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re right, Gary I seem to remember being told that my gift of the chenin was from a small reserve. I really enjoyed it!

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