Mom's stuffed artichoke Artichoke Norma Jeane

 

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Serves 2 as an entrée or 4 as an appetizer

 

 

Artichokes, shrimp and Marilyn Monroe.  You can’t get more romantic than that.  This delectable dish is perfect for a romantic dinner for two.  Why is it called Artichoke Norma Jeane?  Because in 1947, Marilyn Monroe was crowned the first Queen of the Artichoke Festival in Castroville, California, which is the artichoke capital of the world.

 

 

Serves 2 as an entrée or 4 as an appetizer

 

1 very large artichoke

 

1/2 cup grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated good Swiss cheese like Emmentaler or Gruyére

2 tablespoons corn starch

 

About 1/4 pound pre cooked baby shrimp meat, flaked cooked crab meat or a combination

 

1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion

1 green onion, finely chopped including most of the green

1 tablespoon each finely minced fresh dill weed, basal and cilantro

2 cloves of garlic, very finely minced

1/2 cup medium fresh salsa

3 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons sweet and hot brown mustard

1/2 cup slivered, toasted almonds *

Salt and fresh coarse ground black pepper to taste

 

Trim the stem off  the artichoke and set aside.  Trim the bottom so that the artichoke will sit flat.  Remove any very small outer leaves.  Trim no more than one inch of the top of the artichoke.  Using a pair of kitchen scissors, clip off the bit of thorn that is at the top of each leaf.   Place the artichoke and it’s stem in a pot large enough to hold it comfortably and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a rapid simmer, cover and cook until you can just pull of a leaf, but not until the artichoke is galling apart.  Remove from the pot, set upside down and allow to drain and cool thoroughly.

 

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Meanwhile, toss the cheeses with the cornstarch and set aside.  Chop the shrimp or crab small and put into a medium mixing bowl.  Add the next seven ingredients and mix well.  If the stem of the artichoke is tender, chop it very small and add.  With a rolling-pen crush the almonds and add.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Mix well.

 

When the artichoke is completely cooled remove the choke.  Set the artichoke in an oven proof bowl that may be served from.  You will have to use your hands for the next step.  Fill the center of the artichoke with the cheese/seafood mixture.  Then, gently shove some of it down among the leaves until there is a bit of the filling in-between each leaf.  Put in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the filling is set.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.  Each diner pulls off a leaf which will have a bit of the filling stuck to it.  Be sure to provide napkins and a receptacle for the used leaves.  When the leaves are eaten you can fight over who gets the heart.  Be nice and share.

 

* You want the type that are in thin slices, not the ones that are little spears.

                             

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