MasterClass – Thomas Keller – Braising Artichokes

  • Sweating vs sauteeing
    • Sauteeing == “jump” and carmelization
    • Sweating … lower heat … juices come out
  • Olive oil
    • Don’t need to cook with extra virgin olive oil … use a finishing oil
    • Second press olive is used for cooking (e.g., sweating)
    • Today, in the US, we have a huge selection of oils from which to pick. Originally not the case in other parts of the world earlier
  • Artichokes
    • Trimming … removing leaves … don’t remove the whole leaf as it will remove parts of the heart/flesh.
    • When removing each leaf, snap prior to very base
    • After removing enough leaves where there is some tenderness where a knife can get into … stop
    • Using a “honed” knife, almost parallel to the artichoke and then as trimming take angle of knife to perpendicular to artichoke.
    • Leave the choke
    • Then trim around the artichoke heart to remove leafs, stem, to leave just the heart.
    • Finally, remove the heart of the artichoke using a spoon…go only as deep as it feels like you are getting to the heart. This requires some patience
    • After trimmed heart of artichoke, rub lemon over whole surface to stop oxidation and then place heart into lemon water.
    • Trim as many artichokes as you can/have patience to do
    • After trimming the artichoke hearts … add to pot where fennel, carrots, onions have been sweated.
    • Further, add chicken stock, water and sauvignon blanc (high in acid) and bouquet garnet (bay leaf, leak, parsley stem, thyme…wrapped in cheese cloth)
    • Cover with kitchen towel to keep the artichoke hearts submerged/moist/steaming (interesting technique)
    • Steam/cook low till knife easily inserted into artichoke heart (no resistance) … perhaps ~30 minutes (will have to admit I like some resistance to avoid the mush-like texture … test at 25 minutes)
    • After finished cooking, let sit in juice to mature
    • Can be served hot or cold.
    • Can be put in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (can be canned as well)
  • Honing knives
    • A steel hones a knife … does not sharpen
    • Creates even edge…maintains sharpness

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