When I first set up house with my new French husband in the north of France years ago, I told him we needed a microwave oven. Being neither chauvinist nor particularly epicurean, he agreed.
But in a home appliance store where we went to purchase one, along with a new video camera, the salesman talked my husband out of it. At the time microwaves were relatively new on the French market. "You don't want one of those," he said. "My wife has one and never uses it." Then he lead Jacques off to the camera department.
We did buy a microwave the following week, but in different store where the salesman was less personable...
To microwave artichokes:
I had always boiled artichokes, but discovered how wonderful they are microwaved. Quick and easy, microwaving artichokes gives them a fool-proof perfect and savory texture.
Cut off stems and top third of the artichokes. Pull off small lower leaves around base. Trim leave points with kitchen scissors. Rub artichokes well with a lemon half; place in a microwave dish having about an inch and a half of water. Squeeze the rest of the lemon juice into the water and cover with plastic wrap. Cook from 5 to 10 minutes depending on the strength of the microwave and number of artichokes. Artichokes are done when leaves can be pulled out easily and bottoms are tender.
After cooking, remove artichokes from water. If desired, scoop out the prickly choke before serving by first pulling out tender center cone of leaves, then scrape the choke out with a spoon. May be served hot, warm or cold with a sauce, be it simple and sinful melted butter, a vinaigrette or Hollandaise sauce.
Text & photo ©2009 P.B. Lecron
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