I’m just going to come right out and say that I’ve had a few recipe fails lately. I’m trying new recipes and experimenting with new ideas all the time – sometimes they work and sometimes they… well… don’t. There were the on-trend roasted smashed red potatoes that, rather than smashing into beautiful individual portions, exploded all over the pan and the counter top. Apparently I have the wrong shape of potato masher for that particular recipe. Who knew? I was able to salvage the potatoes and turn them into something edible and pretty darn tasty, but there was no chance those were going to get photographed.
Then there were the lemon raspberry crumb muffins that were delicious, but weren’t even half as beautiful as the muffins in the photograph on another person’s lovely blog, due in large part to the fact that the recipe didn’t yield enough crumb topping to top all the muffins adequately. I knew it as I was assembling the muffins – even said it out loud – I don’t think there’s enough crumb topping here – and I didn’t trust my instincts. Then, when the muffins emerged, looking sad and unadorned, I was kicking myself for not listening to my own advice.
And don’t even get me started on the unconventional peach cobbler recipe I tried a few weeks back. Disaster. Quelle nightmare (a la You’ve Got Mail). The peaches came up by airplane with my sister from California and peach cobbler is one of my all time favorite desserts and both of these facts laughed in my face as the cobbler sloshed its way out of the oven in a big gloppy mess. Why did I have to try a new recipe this time? Why couldn’t I just leave well enough alone and go with a classic recipe that I know works like a dream? Fail, fail, fail.
I was badly in need of a kitchen victory – an easy-breezy, uncomplicated success. Artichokes. They have never failed me.
So here’s what you want to do: grab a large, sharp knife and trim the tops and stems off your big, fat artichokes. Spread apart the leaves a bit with your fingers. Squeeze half a lemon over your choke and rub the lemon over the top and sides, just for kicks. Then, mix up some bread crumbs with garlic, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and some red chile flakes. Sprinkle this all over the top of your artichoke and encourage it down between the leaves. Drizzle generously with good extra virgin olive oil, like California Olive Ranch, made in my hometown – Oroville, California. Wrap it all up in foil and roast in a 425 oven for 75-90 minutes, or until tender.