When I think of artichokes, I think of family dinners of my childhood and the excitement felt when my mother was preparing the earthy smelling vegetables in her Italian kitchen. We loved artichokes!
Mostly, I think of my selfless father at the dinner table cleaning our finished, leaf-plucked artichokes. After having devoured the thick, outer green petals and the delicate, golden and purple-tipped inner petals, we passed our trimmed artichokes over to dad to remove the white-gold pelt-like choke that, once scraped away, revealed a green-gold heart – yum! Even my mom hated to clean her own artichoke, so, dad would clean mine, my sister’s, my brother’s and my mother’s before getting to his own. That’s my dad. He always put us all first. Coming off of Father’s Day weekend, I am reminded of what a loving, selfless father I have!
Back to the artichokes.
Because I have celiac disease, I am always looking for gluten-free alternatives to the foods I love. Instead of doing a traditional Italian-style stuffed artichoke, I made Latin American inspired stuffed artichokes, which I call Chica’s Stuffed Artichoke.
Chica’s Stuffed Artichoke
1 medium to large artichoke, trim ends of leaves, wash thoroughly
10 whole multi-grain, multi-seed tortilla chips, crushed (I prefer the ones with flax seeds)
1/2 TBSP cotija, shredded (substitute with grated cheese)
2 lime wedges
1 TBSP packed fresh cilantro, finely chopped
5 generous drops of Cholula Hot Sauce
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of sea salt (I use either Murray River from Australia or Himalayan – both pink)
Preheat oven to 350. Steam the artichoke on the stove top for about 15 minutes. Meantime, mix the crushed tortilla chips, cotija (or grated cheese), cilantro, Cholula Hot Sauce, red pepper, salt and squeeze one of the lime slices.
When the artichoke has finished steaming, use a tong to shake out the excess water. Sit the artichoke in a small baking pan. Hold the artichoke up and start stuffing the mixture between the leaves. When you’re finished add about a 1/2 inch of water at the bottom of the pan (to prevent the artichoke from drying out). Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes (check on it that it cooks thoroughly, without drying out – you may want to pull a leaf to test).
When you remove it from the oven, douse with the second lime wedge and serve with melted butter.