There are those moments, for even the most skilled chefs, when we need to take it a little further, hit the ball out of the park, so to speak. For me that moment is lurking around the corner, two days around the corner, for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year.
You should all know by now that I’m not the half-assed type, I do often like the simplicity of things but I can get pretty fancy when I need to. When I commit to something, especially when there’s food involved, I grab it by the horns and go with it full force; it’s only natural to snub my regular dishes and put my efforts into something completely different. Sometimes it’s a challenge, but a well needed one, to remind us of our true potential, show off a little, and to give ourselves a pat on the back when were through. I have a feeling that most of you reading this are a lot like me.
When you’re stuck on what to make for that special occasion, or want to bring in the new year with a bang, think big, then reap the benefits. These artichokes look so impressive and taste so good that you’ll have your entire table asking for thirds. I recently made them as a test for some friends and they were gone before I could even sit down at the table, no joke.
So what are you waiting for, go get ’em tiger!
Side note: there is a tomato sauce that accompanies the artichokes. As one of the last steps to this recipe, you can either place the the artichokes, filling side up into the tomato sauce or water. I like to use water then serve the artichokes with the tomato sauce underneath or on the side. The choice is yours.
You will need
- 6 artichokes
- 1 pound ground beef or lamb
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ou or pomegranate molasses
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup matzah meal
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- For the tomato sauce (optional)
- Two 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
- Juice of 2 lemons (about 6 tablespoons) or 1 teaspoon lemon salt
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 cup water
- Trim end of artichoke stem, with a scissor cut the hard sharp leave heads off from the top, slice each artichoke lengthways.
- With a small spoon, remove the choke and purple leaves by scooping out hard until you reach the smooth artichoke heart. Be sure that there are no more leftover hairs.
- In a large bowl, add the beef or lamb, ou, one egg, allspice, and salt and mix well until evenly distributed.
- Spoon the meat mixture into the artichoke halves, until the meat is snug and even with the rest of the artichoke.
- 5. Whisk the second egg in shallow dish. Set aside. Place the matzah meal in a separate shallow dish. Dip each half into the egg and then into the matzah meal, shaking off an excess. Set aside.
- Pour the canola oil into a large, deep frying pan and heat the olive oil on medium heat. Place each artichoke half into the pan, filling side down, allowing them room. Remove with matzah meal is golden, about 3 minutes.
- Pour the olive oil into another oven proof deep pot or dutch oven. Add in the artichokes in one single layer, leaves side down this time. Turn on medium heat, cover and leave for about 5 minutes to relieve moisture.
- Add in 1/2 cup water to the artichokes, adding more if you need or if you wish the tomato mixture. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat then reduce to a simmer and leave for 35 minutes so the entire artichoke becomes soft.
- Serve plain or with tomato sauce on the side. I like to cook the tomato sauce separately, using water for the last step of the artichokes and make the sauce optional.