Friday, October 8, 2010

Butternut Squash Tortellinis and Whole Steamed Artichokes

So I wanted to tell y'all about a yummy dinner we made the other night.  We had 4 artichokes from my sister that I was excited to eat.  I think the last time I ate artichokes whole was in college.  I went and bought a 5th one so we'd all have our own, and steamed them.  Just get a big old stock pot and put about 6 inches of water in the bottom, cut off the bottom of the artichoke stems, and throw them in to steam for about 1/2 an hour.  You know they're done when you poke a fork into the base, and it's soft.
 Along with the artichokes we made butternut squash tortellinis.  I had a big butternut squash I roasted the other day to make these with, but I've been sneaking half cups into my morning protein shakes with cinnamon and nutmeg.  I figured I'd better make the tortellinis before it was all gone.  I mixed a little chicken boullion and a little brown sugar into it, then dropped 3/4 teaspoons worth of puree into the center of a wonton wrappers (talk about easy peasy homemade pasta!), folded and sealed the edges, then gave them a quick boil.  Served with sage and melted butter.....heavenly, and so quick. 
 I put one artichoke on each kid's plate and they all said "hey! I can't eat that big guy!"  The thing with artichokes is that you don't eat most of it.  You pull off a leaf, dip it into butter-lemon-garlic sauce (yeah! go vegans!  We could have purchased "Earth Balance" for this, but what's the point?  You're artificially hydrogenating vegetable oil to make that stuff, and so I'm doubting it's any better for you and you gotta have that butter flavor.  Huh.  I wonder how they'd be with a good quality olive oil?  That sounds pretty good actually!) and scrape off the bottom of the leaf with your teeth.  Notice the scraped leafs in the picture?  When you get to the purple leaves, you stop and get out your knife.  That's the "choke" and you don't want to eat it.  You carefully cut it off, angling your knife downwards and to the center making a circle.  If you see little hairs on the base that you missed, cut those off too.  Then you get to eat the "heart"  the best part.  On good artichokes, the stem is just as good, but a couple of ours had some stringy stems.
 So turns out that the kids liked them.  They almost always like things you "dip".  It was a lot of butter for one meal --I'm estimating we each had 1 1/2 to 2 T. , but it was worth it for a splurge, and really?  that's probably still less fat than a dish of ice cream or slice of pie.  Mmmm. Pie.  Thanksgiving is COMING!


Anonymous said...

Looks yummy. I love Tortellinis!

Kelli said...

first artichoke plant didn't survive this year. darn.
Second...yum, pie.

belann said...

The tortellinis sound great. May be another way for us to use our butternut squash.

Kira said...

Yummy...glad you liked them.