More than Just National Hearts of Artichoke Day

Today is National Hearts of Artichoke Day. Now I must admit, my original plan was to completely ignore Hearts of Artichoke Day. After all, I’ve done 3 postings since 2019 singing the praises of Artichoke Hearts. Just how much is left to say?

We’ve had Artichoke Dip Stuffed French Bread and Herb Gorgonzola Artichokes with Parmesan Hollandaise and even Springtime Artichoke Spinach Cream Soup. All this talk of Artichoke made me wonder if my favorite little coastal spot, Duarte’s Tavern had survived the pandemic. Duarte Tavern’s Cream of Artichoke Soup is legendary. The tavern has been a stopping point for travelers up and down the California Coast since 1894. If Duarte Tavern closed another piece of history would have been lost.

I’m happy to report that thus far Duarte’s is still open, although be it with very limited hours for the lunch crowds only. Keeping my fingers crossed that this isn’t the beginning of the end for yet another California restaurant icon.

That got me to thinking – I can’t simply ignore Hearts of Artichoke Day. Too many things have fallen by the wayside. Besides, I adore artichokes. Hubby is the one who can’t stand them. I’ve tried everything but he won’t change his mind. Kiddo is a fan, so I thought a nice dip would be a way of working Artichokes into today’s share. The dip would be for Kiddo and I. And since we’re serving an appetizer with warm baguette slices, why not make one of my favorite shrimp appetizers? Yeah. Hubby’s happy. I’m happy. And a National Day once again is part of the plan.

Hearts of Artichoke Menu
Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip
Creamy Tiger Prawns

Herb Chicken Thighs on a Bed of Asparagus
Tomato Basil Angel Hair Pasta
Warm Bread

Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip
6 oz frozen Chopped Spinach
4 Garlic Cloves minced
1 (14 oz) can Artichokes chopped
8 oz Cream Cheese softened
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup finely shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Baguette Slices for serving

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Thaw spinach. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible, set aside. Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside. Drain artichokes, chop and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl add the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Mix until well incorporated. Add the garlic, all the cheeses, artichokes and spinach. Stir to blend completely.

Spread the mixture evenly into a 1 quart baking dish. Bake for 16 minutes or until it is heated throughout and bubbly.

Serve warm with sliced baguette bread.

Creamy Tiger Prawn Appetizers
1/2 lb Black Tiger Prawns (8 large from a 16-count bag)
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
Kosher Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup White Wine
3/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 tablespoon Italian Parsley, chopped
Roasted Baguette Slices, if desired for serving

Peel and devein prawns. These prawns can be served with or without their tails, it’s all a matter of personal style. Pat dry and set aside.

Peel and finely mince garlic cloves. Set aside until ready to use.

Heat oil a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season prawns with salt and pepper and sauté for about 2 minutes on each side, until just cooked through and pink. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

Melt the butter in the now empty skillet. Sauté garlic until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the white wine; allow to reduce to half while scraping any bits off of the bottom of the pan, about 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to low-medium heat, add the cream and bring to a gentle simmer. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

Add the Parmesan cheese and allow sauce to simmer just long enough for the cheese to melt and the sauce to thicken. Stir to blend smoothly.

As the sauce thickens, chop the parsley and set aside.

Once the sauce is ready, add the prawns back into the skillet. Taste test sauce and adjust salt and pepper, if needed. Simmer until the prawns are warmed through.

If desired, slice baguette. Brush with olive oil, roast until warm on a baking sheet in a moderate oven.

To serve, ladle sauce on a rimmed serving plate or shallow bowl. Arrange shrimp on top of the sauce. Garnish with the chopped parsley. Place warmed baguettes around the edge of the platter and serve.

Herb Chicken Thighs on a Bed of Asparagus
6 Garlic Clove
1 tablespoon Fresh Oregano
1 tablespoon Fresh Rosemary
1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme
1 lb Asparagus
5 bone-in Chicken Thighs
Kosher Salt
Fresh Black Pepper
5 tablespoons Butter, divided
1/4 cup White Wine
1 Lemon

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

Peel and mince garlic, set aside. Chop Oregano, Rosemary and Thyme, set aside. Snap woody ends from asparagus, set trimmed spears aside.

Pat dry thighs with paper towels. Season both sides with with salt, pepper, and paprika. Set seasoned chicken aside.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, oregano, rosemary, and thyme and quickly stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds or so.

Lay chicken thighs skin side down in the skillet and cook for 5 minutes to brown. Flip thighs over; continue to cook another 6 minutes. Continue to cook things until cooked through, turning as necessary. If chicken browns too quickly, adjust the heat to cook through without burning the skin.

Remove the chicken thighs from the skillet; place on a plate, place in the oven to keep warm.

Swirl the now empty pan to distribute the oils in the pan. Add asparagus, season with salt and pepper. Sauté asparagus for about 8 minutes or until tender, rotating in the pan for even cooking. Deglaze with white wine; give it a quick stir to coat the asparagus. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the wine sauce. Continue to cook for 1 minute more.

Return chicken to the pan, resting the thighs on the bed of asparagus. Slice lemon into rounds, garnish chicken with lemons.

Serve with Tomato Basil Angel Hair Pasta and enjoy.

Tomato Basil Angel Hair Pasta
1/2 White Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
1/4 cup Basil
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes
Kosher Salt to taste
8 oz Angel Hair Pasta
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. As the water heats, cut onion in half from root to tip. Reserve half for another use, peel remaining half and finely dice. Set aside. Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside. Chop basil leaves, set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and red pepper flakes; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are tender. Add canned tomatoes with juices, garlic and salt to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook angle hair pasta in the boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Place pasta in a serving bowl.

Pour tomato mixture over pasta; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with basil, Parmesan cheese and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to blend. Add pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a thin sauce is created. Serve warm and enjoy.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: