Grilled Artichokes With Remoulade

by Anne Maxfield on May 28, 2018

Accidental Locavore Grilled ArtichokeOK, your first thought, like the Accidental Locavore’s, is probably – artichokes are time-consuming enough to cook, why would I want to grill them, but trust me, you do.

And, you want to grill them on charcoal. I’m only slightly a charcoal snob, because there are many times when time is at a premium and it’s faster to toss something on a gas grill. For this, the smoky taste from the charcoal is really the reason you’re grilling them in the first place, so go light some charcoal!

While you’re waiting for the grill to be ready, wash and trim the artichokes. I had two big ones; figure on at least 1/2 per person depending on the size and what role they’re playing in your meal (appetizer, main course, side dish). You can save a lot of time, by wrapping them in either Saran Wrap or parchment paper, and steaming them in the microwave for about 8 minutes (again depending on size and microwave strength) until the stem end is tender and gives when you touch it.

Once they’re cool enough to work with, cut them in half. Using a small spoon, carefully remove the choke and the smallest inner leaves (if you want to, the choke can be removed before you cook them, but it’s easier this way). Brush the artichokes with either a little melted butter, some of the remoulade you’re going to eat with them or a little good olive oil.

Grill them, cut side down, for about 5 minutes, then flip and grill the other side for about 5 more minutes. Serve with the remoulade sauce below, or your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!

My verdict: These were great! Absolutely worth doing over charcoal, and definitely worth grilling! This may sound silly, but it’s awfully nice to have the chokes already removed so you can just zip though them. My quick version of a remoulade may or may not be terribly authentic, but it sure tasted good! I think it’s one of those things that takes well to improvisation. Probably having some homemade mayo helped too, but by this point I hope I’ve convinced you ages ago that it’s the only way to go.
Accidental Locavore RemouladeRemoulade 

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (preferably homemade)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
  • 3 anchovy filets, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon chives, finely minced (or scallions)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Mix everything together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust to suit your palette.




Vincent Price’s Guacamole (aka Avocado Spread)

by Anne Maxfield on October 1, 2015

Accidental Locavore Vincent Price's GuacamoleFor those of you, of un âge certain, like the Accidental Locavore, the fact that Vincent Price authored a cookbook and a really good one, won’t come as a surprise. The rest of you may have seen him in old Batman episodes or one of the many horror flicks he was known for, but did you know that he wrote one of the first celebrity cookbooks, A Treasury of Great Recipes?

Someone in my family, perhaps my grandmother, Olive, had a copy of it and along with Betty Crocker’s Cook Book for Boys and Girls, they’re really the only cookbooks I can still visualize from my childhood. There were recipes I probably cooked with my grandmother, but sadly, have no idea what they were. So I was happy to learn that they’ve released a 50th anniversary edition of the book and happier still when The Daily Meal gave me the chance to try one of the recipes and win a copy. This makes 2 cups and I’ve adapted the recipe for clarity:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno or Serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • ½ garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander (a large pinch)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional and more to taste)

Peel and seed the avocados. Rinse off the best-looking pit and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl mash the avocados with a fork. Add all the other ingredients and mix to combine. Taste, and add salt and cayenne as needed.

Leave the pit in the center of the guac to prevent discoloration. Serve with chips and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Great GuacamoleMy verdict: Along with the fact that there were a couple of ripe avocados in my fridge, my competitive juices started flowing, since I’ve always been told that I make the best guac. This one seemed a bit odd, but in 1965 it was probably light years ahead of its time. I expected it to be awful but it was really tasty! It’s not the guacamole for those who like it hot – adding more chiles or cayenne would take care of that, and with the addition of the mayo, even my homemade, it was a little sweet and much smoother than my usual. Vincent says, “if you like a very smooth guacamole, remove the seeds and put mixture into a blender container and blend on high for about 8 seconds before you are ready to serve it.” Next time, I might swap lime juice for lemon and chop up some fresh cilantro (which was probably not easily found in the sixties), just to see how it turns out. But no peas!



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DIY Crab Cakes

by Anne Maxfield on October 17, 2013

Accidental Locavore Making Crab CakesMaking crab cakes is a lot like making hamburgers:  take a protein, add some binder and seasonings, shape into a patty and cook. You can use this technique for any type of seafood cakes. The Accidental Locavore got a surprise shipment of beautiful crabmeat from Maine, and promptly put most of it to good use. This made 8 crab cakes, about 2” in diameter.

  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh crabmeat
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs, plus about ½ cup more for coating the crab cakes
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent.

In a shallow bowl, put about ½ cup of panko for coating the cakes. Set aside.

Accidental Locavore Finished Crab CakesWhile the onions are cooking put the crabmeat, mayo, breadcrumbs, red pepper, thyme, salt and pepper into a medium bowl. When the onions are cooked, add them to the bowl. Mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated (since I’m going to use my hands to make the cakes, I usually end up mixing everything with my hands too). Form the mixture into patties and lightly coat them with the breadcrumbs in the shallow bowl. Place the finished cakes on a sheet of waxed paper.

To cook them, put 2 tablespoons butter in a medium-large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the cakes and cook for about 5 minutes, until golden brown. Turn them over and cook for about another 4-5 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with lemon and Tabasco and enjoy!

Notes: I usually make the patties about 2” but feel free to make them larger and serve them in a toasted roll, like a crab-burger or make them tiny and serve as hors d’oeuvres. Some people like celery minced into their crab cakes, I’m not one of them. The thyme adds a nice note, but it’s not essential, same for the red pepper flakes. You could also substitute a beaten egg for the mayo.



Being Lazy: Basil Dressing for Tomato Salad

by Anne Maxfield on September 19, 2013

Accidental Locavore Tomato Salad With Basil DressingIf you’re on your own for dinner, do you cook for yourself? The Accidental Locavore does to a certain extent. It gives me the opportunity to try some things out, or to eat exactly what I want, but sometimes, you just want to keep it simple. I made this dressing from a recipe from the Perfect Pantry with all intentions of making the BLT salad it was to go on. However, a bowl of tomatoes kept staring at me and the idea of cooking bacon just seemed like work (yeah, it’s just cooking bacon, but…), so a dollop or two of this dressing on some great tomatoes was the perfect accompaniment to a simple grilled lamb chop. This makes about ¾ cup:

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (any kind is fine)
  • 10 large fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped (to make 2-3 tablespoons)
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Accidental Locavore Basil DressingIn a small blender, mini-food processor or with a stick blender, combine all the ingredients, until everything is well mixed and the dressing is a pale green. If it’s too thick, add a little water to thin it out. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: As I said before, laziness prevented me from going the whole BLT salad route. The extent of my labor (after making the dressing) was to cut a couple of good heirloom tomatoes into ½” wedges and tossed them with a couple of tablespoons of the dressing. I also added about a teaspoon of Maldon salt to the tomatoes, as I thought they needed more salt (but my husband will tell you I’m a salt fanatic). I also “cheated” and used my own homemade mayo and yogurt and homegrown basil, so it doesn’t get much better than that, right? This would be a great dressing in the middle of February, when you can get decent basil but nothing else. Some of it on some nice lettuce, or even an iceberg wedge with bacon, would give you hope for summer!


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