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Published January 12, 2011, 12:00 AM

Halgrimson: Artichokes at heart of entrees

Artichoke is the name for three unrelated plants. But much of the food we enjoy that involves artichokes uses the heart, a meaty part of the Globe Artichoke plant, which is a member of the thistle family and is grown in various places, including California.

By: Andrea Hunter Halgrimson, INFORUM

Artichoke is the name for three unrelated plants.

But much of the food we enjoy that involves artichokes uses the heart, a meaty part of the Globe Artichoke plant, which is a member of the thistle family and is grown in various places, including California.

Here are two recipes that incorporate artichoke hearts.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines flan as “an open pie containing any of various sweet or savory fillings.” Other definitions say flan must have a pastry crust. But that is not so. I do not like making pie crust, so when I found the recipe for Artichoke Flan and it did not require a crust, I tried it.

There are all kinds of dishes named for something familiar that have nothing to do with what they are named after. And the following timbale recipe is one of those.

A small timbale mold holds about a cup of ingredients and is shaped like a truncated cone. Timbale molds also come in larger sizes. If the recipe writer wants to call the dish a timbale, who am I to quibble.

Both recipes may be served as either a first course or a main course. Add a loaf of crusty bread and a fresh fruit or green salad to complete the meal.

Artichoke Flan

2/3 pound potatoes

1 box (10 ounces) frozen artichokes

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 large shallot, minced

1/4 cup minced parsley

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

3/4cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

4 tablespoons heavy cream

2 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Cook potatoes until done, drain and cool. Peel potatoes and dice.

Cook artichokes according to package directions.

Heat oil and sautée garlic, shallot and parsley. Add drained artichokes. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook for several minutes.

Butter a 3-quart (9-by-11-inch) casserole dish and line bottom with half the potatoes. Sprinkle half the cheese over them, and then artichokes, followed by another layer of potatoes.

Combine eggs, cream and remaining cheese in a bowl and beat mixture well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread mixture evenly over the potatoes. Sprinkle extra Parmesan over egg mixture. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned. Serves 4.

Artichoke Timbale

1 box (10 ounces) frozen artichokes or 1 can (14 ounces) canned artichokes

6 eggs

3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

7 ounces mozzarella, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoon bread crumbs

1 tablespoon butter

Drain artichokes if using canned and cut them in quarters. Cook frozen artichokes according to package directions.

Beat eggs with Parmesan and salt and pepper. Butter a bundt pan generously and dust with bread crumbs, knocking out excess.

Layer artichokes and cheese, ending with artichokes. Pour egg mixture over the artichokes and sprinkle with an extra tablespoon or two of Parmesan. Bake at 390 degrees until set and golden.

Serves 8 as an appetizer or 6 as a main course. Serve at room temperature.

Source: “The Food Lover’s Companion” by Sharon Tyler Herbst


Readers can reach Andrea Hunter Halgrimson at ahalgrimson@forumcomm.com

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