Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Waterless Baby Artichokes with Sweet and Red Potatoes, Vegan Apple Sage Sausage

I love baby artichokes and found them in the store last night. As I first described back in May 2006, it's easy preparing them. As I wrote then, "I removed the tough outer layers of leaves till I got to fairly tight and lighter colored ones, cut the bottoms and a little more of the tops off, then quartered them and placed them in lime juice to avoid discoloration." Now, I rarely use oil in cooking, so decided to prepare the artichokes waterlessly - i.e., put into a high quality stainless steel pan with a small vapor escape and cook, covered, on medium high till the vapor escape starts to jiggle, then reduce heat to low to stop the jiggling and cook for about 20m or more. I prepared something else for my Dad, who doesn't eat garlic, so was able to use some garlic in the cooking.

I also simply heated a vegan Field Roast brand apple sage sausage and served one sausage for my wife, one for me, and a half for my daughter. Each sausage has 10g of fat; I was tempted to list this meal as "almost no added fat", but 10g is significant, so I'll leave off added fat claims, though the rest of the meal is no added fat. Here is what I did:

  • Half of a  medium onion cut into approx. 1/4" x 1" half moons (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1 small purple (or other kind) sweet potato cut into 3/8" cubes (approximately one cup; if organic, keep skin on and otherwise, first peel)
  • 1 medium red (or Yukon gold) potato cut into 3/8" cubes (about 3/4 cup - same instructions on skin as above)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely (1/8" or so) diced
  • 10 baby artichokes prepared as described
  • Approx. 1/4 t salt
  • Approx. 1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
  • Approx. 1/8 t dried oregano
  1. I put all of the ingredients, in the order listed above, into a large Saladmaster stock pot.
  2. I covered the pan and heated on medium high until the vapor lock started rattling, then reduced heat to low so there was no rattle.
  3. I cooked for 20m (longer is fine to keep the food hot), stirred, and served along with the vegan sausage and heirloom tomato slice.

It was a good idea to cook the artichokes in this manner. The meal turned out well!

Ideas for the future

Neither my wife nor I could think of any additional ingredients that could improve the main course. Perhaps a little more garlic could have been nice, perhaps roasted garlic added at the end. I had considered creating a sauce, maybe white wine or miso based, for the main course, but it really didn't need it. I should do more waterless cooking with artichokes.

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