Roasted Artichokes

by Anne Maxfield on April 27, 2017

Accidental Locavore Prepped ArtichokesArtichokes are one of my favorite vegetables!

I could eat them all the time and in any preparation.

When I saw this recipe in Saveur for roasted artichokes, it seemed like an easy way to fix them—just roast them for a while and enjoy.

This serves 3:

Roasted artichokes

  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2–3 teaspoons crushed red chile flakes
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 globe artichokes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Accidental Locavore Artichokes Ready to RoastHeat oven to 500°.

In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, wine, oregano, chile flakes, garlic, and salt and pepper; set aside.

Cut 1″ off the top of each artichoke and gently pull leaves apart to open artichokes. Place them, standing up on their bases, in a small roasting pan or dish large enough to hold them in one layer.

Pour oil mixture over each artichoke, making sure it reaches in between all leaves. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes.

Uncover, and bake, basting often with juices, until browned and tender, about 30 minutes more. Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm with pan juices and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Roasted ArtichokesMy verdict: Sadly, not a winner.

I’m not sure if it was the artichokes or the recipe but they were tough. I used a 450° oven as I was roasting a chicken and didn’t think it would be a huge difference, but after 90 minutes, they were pretty leathery. I wrapped them and tossed them in the microwave to steam them for about 5 minutes and it made them edible.

There was too much taste from the red chile flakes and not enough from anything else so we used some stray hollandaise sauce to liven things up.

Here’s where I think things might have been improved: pre-steaming the artichokes in the microwave for 5 minutes and them roasting them as above.
Or, pre-steaming them, dousing them with the sauce (minus a few red chile flakes and maybe plus some lemon) wrapping them up in foil and tossing them directly in the fire of a charcoal grill.

Have you ever made artichokes this way? How did they turn out for you?

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Delicious & Sons: Organic Sauces & More

by Anne Maxfield on April 24, 2017

Accidental Locavore Delicious & Sons SaucesSometimes delicious new sauces show up in the most unexpected places.

A few weeks ago, I was touring a co-packing plant and warehouse facility.Sometimes delicious new sauces show up in the most unexpected places. This was the case with Delicious & Sons, a line of organic sauces and more.

Stick with me, this gets interesting.

One of the line of products they were packing and shipping was a line of sauces etc. from Delicious and Sons and it looked really good!

I got in touch with them and they kindly got me a bunch of products to taste.

Their products run from pasta sauces to spreads that can be used in many ways, to aiolis and even a truffle balsamic sauce.

All of them are made in Spain with organic ingredients.

Accidental Locavore Delicious & Sons SauceThe first one I tried was their Organic Tomato Sauce with Italian Olives on the stuffed shells I made recently. It was great, good ripe tomato taste and an occasional burst of salty olives and no one would realize that it didn’t come from you spending a Sunday afternoon over a hot pot of sauce. There will definitely be some jars of this in my pantry!

This weekend, we had guests for dinner and I pulled out three of their dips and spreads. We tasted the Spicy Black Olive Spread, the Artichoke Spread and the Porcini Mushroom Spread on slices of baguettes.

The group was split down the middle when it came to favorites. Half were for the Porcini and the others voted for the Spicy Black Olive, with the Artichoke coming in a close third.

Accidental Locavore Delicious & Sons Sauce TrioI’d love the olive spread on a sandwich to give it a punch, or even in salad dressing (which I need to remember for the next vinaigrette I toss together).

The porcini spread would be great in an omelet or just as a simple pasta sauce, maybe with some cream or butter on a good fettuccini.

Or with any of them, you could do what we did and just serve them with some nice bread, crackers or even some veggies to dip into them. Simple and delicious.

There are lots more products on their website—I’ve still got the aiolis, a basil pesto and the white truffle balsamic glaze to play with and you can order any of them there. Enjoy!Accidental Locavore Delicious & Sons Pesto Sauce

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Short Ribs With Thai Chili Sauce

by Anne Maxfield on April 20, 2017

I wanted to take my Insta-Pot through some of its paces and short ribs seemed like the way to go.

This time, I was looking for something different than my usual short ribs with bacon and Guinness.

I had my Thai Chili Sauce from booYah and some ribs, so went to work.

This feeds about 4:

Short Ribs With Thai Chili Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds small bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 small fresh hot red chiles, such as Thai bird, stemmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, quartered
  • 1 3” piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 Thai chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a 5- to 6-quart stovetop-safe slow cooker insert (or in a 12-inch skillet) over medium heat. Add half of the short ribs and brown really well about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining short ribs.

Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chiles, garlic, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the Thai chili sauce.

Fit the insert into the slow cooker, or if using a skillet put its contents into the slow cooker.

Stir in the broth and soy sauce. Nestle the short ribs into the sauce, pouring in any juice from the bowl.

Cover and cook until very tender, 5 to 6 hours on high or 9 hours on low.

Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: This recipe is for a regular slow-cooker. If you use an Insta-Pot, check the directions for searing and slow cooking.

These were really good! The Insta-pot made searing the short ribs easy and there was no grease-spattered stove to clean up. We had them with some jasmine rice and broccoli. While, I’m not sure they’ll replace the beer-braised ribs, it’s good to switch things up now and then.

I used the booYah Thai sauce and then remembered how easy it was to make your own. Either would be great. The chili sauce is also great tossed into some sautéed shrimp (with or without some asparagus).

What would you use it on?

 

 

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My Insta-Pot Experience

by Anne Maxfield on April 17, 2017

Accidental Locavore Insta-PotLike millions of Americans I bought an Insta-Pot.

My excuse?

It was half price on Amazon and my slow cooker had just sprung an irreparable leak.

Sayonara  crock-pot, hello Insta-Pot.

An Insta-Pot (if you haven’t heard of them) is reputed to be the replacement for most of the appliances you have and plenty that you probably don’t.

It’s a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer and it sautés.

After an initial batch of basmati rice that was undercooked and stuck to the container, it was given a time-out for a couple of months.

But I wasn’t going to let an appliance get the best of me (especially since someone I know who is not a great/adventurous cook has been using it like crazy and getting great results).

So, I read the book.

It’s pretty basic, but since everyone online has been touting it, it’s easy to find answers there.

First up, some short ribs with Sean’s booYah! Bali Sweet Heat Glaze (I met Sean at the Restaurant Show and he gave me this to try).

I seared the ribs in the Insta-Pot and it did a great job! Nicely seared and as an added bonus, no fat spattered all over the stove.

Once seared, I added the booYah! sauce and about a cup of beef stock I had from another project that had some soy sauce in it.

Put the cover on and slow-cooked it for the afternoon. Came out great!

Next up, yogurt.

I’ve used the Insta-Pot twice now for yogurt and both times it’s come out perfectly. You just put the mixture in, hit the yogurt button and leave it. The big advantage for me, especially in the winter, is that my oven can be pretty cold, even with the light on so there can be some serious temperature fluctuations.

So far, perfect yogurt. Although it’s an expensive yogurt maker, I’d keep it around just for that!

Accidental Locavore Yogurt in Insta-PotI need to gather up my courage and give it a try with something it’s famous for—as a pressure cooker.

Supposedly the Insta-Pot makes amazing risotto (and could have done my short ribs in minutes rather than hours). So, maybe a risotto with some prosciutto, asparagus and peas (are you paying attention Janet?).

Do you have one? What’s your favorite thing to do with it?

 

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