Yesterday was one of those moments when all things lined up in the world. I started out the day finding out I’m down over 16 lbs in the last 6 weeks on Weight Watchers. The best part is that I’m still eating what I want, just being a lot better about the frequency and quantity. It’s a good start to the day.
To make it even better, though, it was brilliantly sunny, though cool. My wife wanted to make homemade salt and/or sugar scrubs, so we went to the Container Store to get, you guessed it, containers! Then down to Hyde Park, a really nice area of Cincy, and walked around until we found a spot we wanted to eat. We ended up at Teller’s, which is in a building that used to be a bank. With the great weather, we decided to eat on the back deck. We got there about 15 minutes before 2 pm, which meant I was able to take advantage of the bloody mary bar.
I love bloody mary bars, and I’m kind of a sucker for them. Most bar bloody mary’s are just ok, but with the stuff on the bar, I can make a bloody mary that I really love. I added horseradish (a must have), some hot sauce, worcestershire sauce, lime, blue cheese stuffed green olives and asparagus spears. And to follow that, we got a mashed potato pizza and a smokehouse pizza (chorizo and sweet peppers). It was a really nice lunch.
From there, we decided to go to church on Saturday instead of waiting until Sunday morning, then get back home to fix dinner. We had some baby artichokes that I wanted to grill. I hadn’t done baby artichokes before, so it was worth a try.
The first thing to do when doing fresh baby artichokes is to get a big bowl of acidulated water ready. That means get a bowl of water and add lemon juice to it. If you don’t dunk the artichokes right away after cutting, they turn brown really fast. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to use gloves when cutting the artichokes, as your hands can turn brown, too.
The cleaning is easy. I just pulled off the outer, tough leaves, peeled the stems, cut off the upper 1/2 inch of each artichoke. With baby artichokes, there may not be a choke in it, but cutting them in half lengthwise allows any choke to be removed (the purple thorns don’t go down well).
The baby artichokes went into boiling water for about 6 minutes, then got drained and patted dry. I put olive oil and lemon juice on them, tossed them well, then put them on a hot cast iron grill, only turning once, after the artichokes got nice grill marks on them.
Along with the artichokes, I fixed a flank steak panini with Taleggio cheese. The cheese is a washed rind cheese, with a consistency close to brie, but more pungent, and Italian. I cut a couple of slices of some French bread I made the day before, with white whole wheat flour. It sounded like a good mix for a panini!
It was a nice spring day, with some good food and better company (my wife). The verdict on the baby artichokes? They were ok, though I should have pulled off more of the outer leaves. However, they’re kind of bland. The grilling added a nice flavor, but I don’t know that I’d make them again, unless someone really wanted them, or I came up with a better recipe (which I may try to find).