Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes
(serves 2, scale as needed for more)
2 large globe artichokes (tightly packed leaves, the less brown spots the better)
½ c onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 anchovy fillets, minced
4 tbsp grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 c bread crumbs
½ c chopped fresh parsley
2ish c chicken stock
Extra virgin olive oil
Start by sauteeing the onion until translucent in a little bit of olive oil. Also preheat the oven to 375º.
While they are sauteeing, prepare the artichokes by rinsing them out and chopping the top 1" off of each globe. Trim the sharp spike off of each remaining leaf with a pair of kitchen shears. Cut the stem off to make it flush with the base of the artichoke. Spread the leaves by pulling them apart and use a melon baller or a spoon to dig out the choke. The choke is actually the base of the flower that would bloom if the artichoke were left on the stalk. It's bad news for people, so by removing it we can dig into the heart of the artichoke with no problems after it's cooked. Cut the lemon in half. Fill a bowl with water and squeeze half of the lemon into the water, tossing the whole half in after squeezing. Add the artichokes and let them sit until they are ready to bake.
Make the stuffing by mixing bread crumbs, anchovies, onions, garlic, Parmesan, and parsley together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Prepare the artichokes for baking by draining them from the water and stuffing them. Stuff the leaves with the bread crumb mixture and finish by filling the middle as well. Drizzle olive oil on top of each artichoke and juice some of the remaining lemon on them as well. You want to bake them in a dish that is just big enough to hold them. After they are in the pan, add enough chicken stock to about 1/3 of the way up the sides of the artichokes. Cover and bake them for approximately 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the stuffing has browned. I grated more Parmesan on top at this point to add more salt, after tasting one of the leaves I felt that it was not salty enough. Try poking a knife down through the center to the heart, if the knife is easily pushed through the then artichokes are done. Allow them to cool slightly before serving, and eat them by pulling off the outer leaves and eating the meaty end and the breading. Enjoy!