Roasted Artichokes and Prosciutto Recipe

Roasted Artichokes and Prosciutto Recipe

Artichokes have a nutty flavor. These nutritious thistles are often steamed and eaten with melted butter, mayonnaise, or a dip. Boiling fresh artichokes is one of the classic ways to cook this vegetable. For those encountering artichokes for the first time, they might seem intimidating. They have lots of leaves, and may also have thorns on the ends of these leaves.  But once you learn the proper steps to cook this veggie, you will see that it is not that difficult to make them. Besides, they are delicious! Even though steaming is the original way to cook them, roasting accentuates their rich, nutty flavor. Below is a recipe for a tasty slow-roasted artichoke and prosciutto dish that is sure to make you want to eat it over and over again.

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon, halved, plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 large artichokes
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
  • Crusty bread or bread sticks, for serving

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Take some water in a large bowl and squeeze some of the juice from the lemon halves into it.

2. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, snap off the tough, dark green outer leaves. Slice off all but 1 inch of the remaining leaves. Peel and trim the bottom and stem of the artichoke. Halve the artichoke and use a spoon to scoop out the furry choke. Cut the artichoke halves in half again, rub with lemon, and add both the lemon and the artichoke into the lemon water. Repeat the same process with the remaining artichokes. We drop the artichokes in the lemon water to prevent them from oxidizing and turning brown.

3. In a large, ovenproof skillet, combine the olive oil, the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Drain the artichokes and add them to the skillet. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Keep stirring the artichokes occasionally.

4. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the artichokes for about 40 minutes. Stir them a few times, until they are tender and nicely browned. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the parsley and season the artichokes with salt and black pepper. Let them cool.

5. Now arrange the prosciutto slices on a serving platter. Also slice a crusty bread or put some bread sticks on the platter. Spoon the artichokes and their cooking liquid into a bowl. Your delicious roasted artichokes are ready to be served with the bread and prosciutto. Enjoy!

Artichokes are delicious and nutritious and you do not need to cook them with complicated flavors to make them taste good. Simply roasting artichokes concentrates their flavor and brings out their sweetness. Working with artichokes might seem tedious, but once you know the right steps, you can work quickly with them. And the results are so worth it!

This roasted artichokes and prosciutto recipe brings out the sweetness of the artichokes by slow-roasting. The prosciutto pairs well with wine. These tasty artichokes are more flavorful than boiled or steamed ones.

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The Perfect Pot Roast

The Perfect Pot Roast

Perhaps one of the most enduring culinary classics is the beef pot roast.  Whether it be a trademark Sunday lunch on a family table or an amped-up recipe such as beef bourguignon, you start with the same hearty ingredients:  a 3-4 pound beef chuck roast, beef broth, vegetables, and perhaps a dry red wine.  The preparation technique is essentially the same as well by first browning the meat on each side on the stovetop then slow cooking it in or over liquid.

Searing

Make sure the vessel you will be cooking the roast in can be used on the stove top as well as the oven.  An excellent choice is a Dutch oven due to their versatility.  Pour in enough flavor-neutral oil (such as canola or grapeseed) to cover the bottom of the surface of the dish and allow it to heat.  At this time coat the meat in the seasonings you have chosen to use such as salt, pepper, and/or herbs then brown the roast on each side just until a brown crust forms.

Braising

Turn off the heat and add in any liquids you want the pot roast to cook in.  These can include beef/vegetable broth, mushroom stock, tomato puree, dry red wine (look for something more earthy and smoky than fruit-forward), and even Worcestershire sauce.  You will need 2-3 cups of liquid depending on the size of the roast (3 versus 4 pounds) and the dimensions of your baking dish.  Season the liquid to your tasting but be careful with the salt if you are using prepackaged broths/stocks.  Bay leaves are a wonderful addition and you can be liberal with herbs and spices since they are naturally sodium free.  If you want to add any root vegetables such as turnips, onions, potatoes, and carrots you should do so now due to the time they take to cook and soften.

Final Touches

In a preheated 350-degree oven, cook the meat for 3-3 ½ hours until it is fork tender.  If you want to add any additional (non-root) vegetables do so 20-30 minutes before the roast comes out of the oven.  Remove the meat and place it on a service platter along with the vegetables.  Whatever you do don’t overlook the leftover cooking liquid!  This is an exquisite ingredient in itself, especially since it has absorbed the flavors of the beef and vegetables.  One option is to make a gravy for the roast out of the liquid.  You can either make a roux of butter and flour then gradually stir in the liquid until it reaches the desired consistency or pour the liquid into a saucepan and stir in a mix of corn starch and cold water to thicken it.  You could also use the liquid as a base for a very rich soup/stew or even to cook another roast in.  The perfect pot roast, whether it be for a family or formal table, is an incredibly easy dish to master and personalize to the point of truly making it your own.

 

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Easy 30 Minute Recipes

Easy 30 Minute Recipes

 

An easy way to eat healthily and economically is by preparing food at home, but busy schedules can derail even the best of efforts. That’s why it’s important to have a few 30 minute meals in your repertoire so you can serve your family a healthy, quick meal on the most hectic of days.

 

SAUTÉED OR STIR FRIED

Sautéing or stir frying may be the simplest and versatile option for 30 minute meals. Pick a protein: chicken, pork, beef, even beans and cook in a large skillet with a bit of oil (the beans can go into a sauce pan with a little bit of chicken stock or water to soften up). Marinade the meat if you have time, or just season well during the cooking process. When the meat is cooked, remove from the skillet and add a bit more oil if needed to sauté the vegetables.

Any vegetables you have on hand will work, just be sure to cut into uniform pieces and add to the pan according to cooking time, for example onions and carrots before mushrooms, and spinach or kale at the very end just to wilt. Season the vegetables just as you did with the meat.

When the vegetables are tender, add your protein back into the skillet and mix everything together. Serve over rice, quinoa, with a piece of bread, or enjoy alone.

The versatility of this process comes from what you have on hand in terms of ingredients and seasonings, any direction is possible: Asian, Italian, Mexican, or even experimental.

 

QUICK PROTEINS

A key to 30 minute meals is average cooking time, which usually is dependent on the type of protein chosen. Seafood, cooked beans, and smaller pieces of poultry or meat will cook the fastest. Try taking a filet of tilapia, salmon, mackerel, or any other thin filet, place it on a bed of vegetables on a sheet of parchment paper. Season well, fold up the paper then roast in a 400 degree oven for 7-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.

 

STEAM AND ROAST

When it comes to vegetables, steaming and roasting are excellent and quick preparation methods. For steaming, place small pieces of your chosen vegetable in a steamer basket over boiling water and cover. Steam for about 4-6 minutes. A pat of butter, salt and pepper completes the dish, or for a bit of crunch mix 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs in 1 tablespoon of melted butter and sprinkle on top.

Roasting vegetables caramelizes the natural sugars, adding a depth in flavor. Most vegetables can roast in a 450 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes depending on how small you cut them. Simply dice up your chosen vegetable, mix with oil, salt and pepper, and any other seasonings, then spread in a single layer on a sheet pan. A casserole dish can work, however your won’t get as much caramelization due to the higher edges trapping steam.

Halfway through just mix up the vegetables, then let it cool before digging in.

 

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Authentic Italian Pot Roast Recipe

Authentic Italian Pot Roast Recipe

Everybody has a favorite type of food, but there are certain types that just seem to taste good to everyone. At the top of that list is Italian food. Everyone seems to love Italian food, but not everyone realizes that there is more to it than pizza and pasta. One notable dish that tastes great when prepared correctly is an authentic Italian pot roast.

What Ingredients Does Italian Pot Roast Require?

One of the keys to any good recipe is to make sure that you have fresh, quality ingredients. For this recipe, there are several things to have prepared. In addition to the chuck roast, you will need these ingredients:

1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 large sweet onion, cut in half and sliced
1 (3- to 4-lb.) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (1-oz.) envelope dry onion soup mix
1 (14-oz.) can beef broth
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Of course, everyone has different tastes, so these ingredients are just the main ones that you will need. Feel free to adjust the amount of each (within reason) to suit your taste buds. You can also experiment with a few different spices if you choose.

How to Prepare Authentic Italian Pot Roast

Having fresh ingredients does not guarantee that you will concoct a delicious meal, however. You still have to take care to correctly prepare the ingredients and cook them properly. As any good chef can tell you, a slight variation on cooking procedures can have a drastic effect on the taste of a dish, and that is not necessarily a good thing.

  1. Place mushrooms and onion in a lightly greased 5-to 6-qt. slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle roast with pepper. Cook roast in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until browned.
  3. Place roast on top of mushrooms and onion in slow cooker. Sprinkle onion soup mix over roast; pour beef broth and tomato sauce over roast. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours or until meat shreds easily with a fork.
  4. Transfer roast to a cutting board; cut into large chunks, removing any large pieces of fat. Keep roast warm.
  5. Skim fat from juices in slow cooker; stir in tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Stir together cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl until smooth; add to juices in slow cooker, stirring until blended. Increase slow cooker heat to HIGH. Cover and cook 40 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Stir in roast.

Of course, there is more to a meal than just the featured food item. For an easy side, sauté 2 cups diced zucchini, 1 cup frozen sweet peas, and 1/2 cup diced onion in 3 Tbsp. olive oil until tender. Toss with 20 oz. hot cooked cheese-and-spinach tortellini, and 1/2 cup each shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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