If anyone noticed that my posts became a bit sparse over the last couple of weeks, it is because I have been frantically trying to get everything in order for my move to DC, especially in finding a place to live.
And now I’m happy to announce I have found a place!!
A very cute basement apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland, which I’ve heard is a very nice area :-)
And special thanks to Mrs. Janelle Love for helping me to find this place and searching tons of listings for me!
So I am ultra excited about leaving this Sunday, and exploring my new city. My Mom and I went shopping today for some more business clothes, and we’ll be shopping for shoes this evening.
My stuff is all pretty much packed, and I have been totally consumed with getting everything ready. Also feeling really sad about having to leave Ezzio :-(
Also, anyone who is in the DC area, or is familiar with it, SEND ME RESTAURANTS! Tell me your favorite places to eat and the best places to go! I want to do a bunch of reviews while I’m out there, but I want to know what are some peoples’ favorites.
Specifically, does anyone know a good place for breakfast/brunch near Reagan airport? I’m getting there in the morning, so I want to grab a nice breakfast after I land. I’ll check on Yelp, but any recommendations are welcome.
I’ve heard that DC has some great food, and on my two short trips up there, I was NOT disappointed. I noticed I saw a ton of Indian restaurants, and I love Indian food, so I’m excited for that. It is flippin’ IMPERATIVE that I find a good Jamaican restaurant out there though. Me without access to Jamaican food is not a good thing. I can go without it for a while, but once I get that craving, nothing will satisfy me but some Jerk Pork or Saltfish and Ackee.
Seriously, I will start biting some heads off.
Side note: I will have my own full kitchen! Yes!! No roommates or sharing either which is awesome. I’m just going to have to make some friends so they can come over and eat so I’m not just being a fatty all by myself lol.
Sooo, on to the recipe. This is something I made right before I moved out of my dorm and just haven’t had the chance to post yet. I actually have a bunch of those, I keep extras in case I can’t cook for a while, like now.
Stuffed Artichokes were something perfect to adapt to dorm cooking because of how intimidating they can be. I’m sure a lot of people my age don’t regularly eat artichokes or haven’t tried them, but all of you should. THEY’RE AWESOME.
Plus, they’re not all extra complicated the way you might think. Sure, they may look like something dropped off by the pod people, but they’re actually an edible flower! A delicious, meaty flower…and they’re a member of the thistle family! That explains the pointy barbs, purple center and fuzzy choke, ALL of which you don’t want to eat.
But it’s really very easy to prepare an artichoke for your dorm room consumption.
In fact, here are my easy instructions!
How to Prep an Artichoke
Have lemon juice or a lemon cut in half on hand before you start!
Lay out your artichoke and notice the older leaves, which are tougher, and may be purple at the tips and split down the middle.
Peel off about two or three rows of the outer leaves of the artichoke one at a time, until all the tips reach to about 3/4 of an inch from the top.
Lay the artichoke on the cutting board, and cut 3/4 of an inch to an inch off the top, taking the sharp barbs off of the leaves. Quickly rub a lemon half or squirt lemon juice on the cut end.
Cut off the stem, so that the artichoke now has a flat base. Again, more lemon juice.
Using your thumbs, spread the leaves of the artichoke apart, so that there’s a good amount of space between each leaf. Squeeze lemon juice onto the leaves.
Now your artichoke is ready for stuffing!
Okay, so now for the stuffing and assembly!
Slow Cooker Mushroom-Stuffed Artichokes
1 large artichoke, or several baby ones, if you’re using a large slow cooker
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 white onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 oz. sliced button mushrooms
1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumb
s2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese^^
Ah, the ingredient list looks like a little scale!
Set the slow cooker to high, and let it heat up for about ten minutes, then add olive oil and cover.
Dice the 1/4 onion.
Add the diced onion and minced garlic to the olive oil. If using minced garlic that comes in oil, add a little bit of that oil also. Cover it back up.
Get out your mushrooms. For dorm cooking or quick cooking, it’ll save you a ton of time and effort to just buy the pre-cleaned, already sliced kind.
Using about a handful of mushrooms at a time, dice them into small pieces. Do it in small batches so you have room on the cutting board.
Once the onions are translucent, add the chopped mushrooms and cover.
Cook about ten minutes, until the mushrooms are soft. Add the chicken broth and cover again.
The mushrooms and onions should be soft, with some liquid in the bottom.
After about ten more minutes, add the breadcrumbs and mix to combine. The mixture should be wet, yet crumbly. If there’s too much moisture, add a bit more of the breadcrumbs.
Turn off the heat and uncover to allow the stuffing to cool down. While the stuffing is cooling, prep the artichoke (see above).
Using a teaspoon, stuff the mixture in between the leaves of the artichoke, starting from the center and working your way out.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
Clean out the slow cooker, and add about one inch of water. Turn heat to high and carefully lower the stuffed artichoke into it. Squeeze some lemon juice over the artichoke.
Cover and cook for an hour and a half to two hours, or until a leaf can easily be pulled out.
The artichoke should have expanded a bit from cooking.
Remove the artichoke from the slow cooker and place it into a bowl or on a plate for serving.
To eat, pull off leaves and scrape stuffing and base of the leaf off with your teeth, reserving a little stuffing for the end. Once you reach the middle, remove the fuzzy choke with a spoon and eat the heart (the bottom part) with a little of the excess stuffing.
Enjoy, my gourmet students!