Thursday, April 12, 2012

At Home: Crab Stuffed Artichokes

This next installment of What Micky Eats...At Home features a quicker version to the elegant dish of stuffed artichokes.  Instead of braising for an hour in a Dutch oven, use the microwave to help cut down time. Also, we added some crab meat as an extra surprise to the regular Italian bread crumb stuffing. Enjoy these crab stuffed artichokes as a companion to your dinner entree.

Crab Stuffed Artichokes
  • 4 whole artichokes
  • 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 cans crab meat, drained
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ teasp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
Braising liquid:
  • ½ cups water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

- Snip the pointed tips of artichoke leaves, and cut off the stems. Wash and drain.
- Pull out the purple furry choke from the middle. Use a spoon to scrape out the extra furs. (Check out this helpful step-by-step on how to properly clean an artichoke).
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a microwave-safe glass dish arrange artichokes, bottoms up, and add water to reach half way up artichokes.
- Microwave at high power (100%), covered, 10 minutes, or until bases are tender, and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.
- In a medium bowl combine bread crumbs, garlic, Parmesan, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper; mix well. Set aside.
- In a medium pan, melt the butter to saute the onions and garlic.
- Add crab meat to heat through.
- Add the bread crumb mixture to heat through. Add water as needed, to make sure the mixture is moist.
- Press about ½ cup of stuffing into each artichoke; be sure to get in all the nooks and crannies.
- Place each artichoke, bottoms down, back in the glass dish.
- Add braising liquid to cover the bottom of the artichokes.
- Sprinkle tops of artichokes with more cheese and drizzle tops with olive oil.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until leaves pull out easily.
- Optional: For extra crispy tops, you can switch to the broiler for the last 5 minutes.

By using the microwave to soften the artichokes and the oven to continue cooking, the normal braising time of 1 hour is cut down to less than 30 minutes total.  Also, I want to point out if you do not eat crab meat, you can easily remove that step from this recipe and just use the Italian bread crumb stuffing.  If you have lemons left over, squeeze some juice over just before serving.  These artichokes are hearty and satisfying.  The best part is the heart.  Once you scrape through all the leaves, the soft heart is exposed on the bottom and is just delicious!  A great companion to your steak or lamb dinner.

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