I don’t know where artichokes fit in as a Southern delicacy, but butter definitely is.
I can’t believe there was a time in my life where I boycotted butter (and anything with fat or sugar in it) and opted for butter flavored substances instead.
I’d say the greatest thing about dating a Southerner is that he eliminated my fear of butter and fats.
Flavor > everything else. #MustLoveFood
Now I’m not advocating a life lived in butter, we’re not Paula Deen style with the butter in our household, but when we do use butter it’s the good stuff.
Grass fed, European-cultured, Ireland-bred and raised cows butter- Kerry Gold being our favorite brand that’s easily found in every supermarket (and the cheapest at Trader Joe’s at $3.19 per half pound) < insider tip.
While butter is great, it can’t stand alone and you’re not going to find me standing by the fridge eating spoonfuls (honestly writing that down made me feel a little queasy at the thought of it), but you will typically find me experimenting with butter sauces to add over vegetables because the world needs balance.
On Sunday, I decided to try my hand at a beurre blanc recipe that the chef from Made Kitchen in Alpharetta wrote down for me. He made these amazing grilled artichokes and drowned them in beurre blanc and I found myself at the end of the meal sopping up the leftover sauce with crisped bread.
The weather this past Sunday was perfect for grilling, the artichokes were ripe for the picking (at Whole Foods) and the grill was soon fired up to accommodate our need to enjoy ever wonderful bit of weather out of the weekend.
While I thought grilling artichokes would be a simple dish, it turned out to be quite labor intensive, but well worth the effort. It took about 1 hour from start to finish (with multitasking making the beurre blanc) and many searches of “how to grill artichokes” hoping there would be some sort of miraculously easy way to cook them. FYI there isn’t.
For the Grilled Artichokes you will need:
1-2 Artichokes depending on the size of your household
For the Beurre Blanc you will need:
1/2 pound of butter, I used Kerry Gold Salted
2 ounces heavy cream, I used Atlanta Freshes variety
1 ounce of lemon juice
1 cup of white wine (plus more for drinking while cooking *wink*) I used a chardonnay
20 whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves (dried)
3 sprigs of thyme
*Mind you this recipe of beurre blanc yields a large serving, so scale it back where necessary for your household.
Cut artichokes into quarters and clean out the fuzz on the inside. Remove spiny stems and chop the top off of the artichoke. Steam for 40 minutes on the stove.
While the artichokes are steaming, reduce wine in a saucepan with the peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme until alcohol is cooked out. Pour in heavy cream and bring to a simmer; simmer until the cream has reduced by half. Increase heat to medium-high, and rapidly whisk in the butter, piece, by piece until it has melted into the cream and thickened it. Strain the sauce through a mesh strainer to remove the spices.
Remove beurre blanc from the stove and set aside while you grill the artichokes. Once they are done steaming, remove them and lightly brush on the olive oil and lemon. Place face down on grill and grill for 3 minutes each side so it gets a nice char to it.
Remove from grill, plate and
drown drizzle beurre blanc on top. Serve and eat immediately.
This was my first time attempting beurre blanc but it’s definitely not my last!
We sat in silence sucking the sauce off of the leaves of the artichokes as we ate dinner. A wonderful ode to warmer weather ahead, this dish is sure to be a show-stopper at your next dinner party!