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‘Artisanal’ Grilling: Artichokes

Like “artisanal” anything else – bread, cheese, potato chips, etc. – artisanal grilling is as subjective as its name suggests. At its worst, artisanal grilling is a gimmick; a way to upsell fancily packaged herbs and pricey meats and veggies that you can get for pennies a pound at your local big-box grocer. At its best, it involves seeking out truly premium ingredients and using your grill with a little more finesse than usual. If “regular” grilling is setting a pile of charcoal ablaze and blackening a handful of wienies in the inferno, artisanal grilling is using controlled heat, expert seasoning and superior gastronomic knowledge to create the perfect flame-kissed masterpiece. Is it possible for an amateur grill jockey to pull this off? Who knows – anything’s possible. The only way to find out is to try, and this easy recipe will let you stretch your grilling imagination. <strong>“Artisanal” Grilled Artichokes  </strong> <em>The Ingredients</em> A big part of artisanal grilling is the quality of the ingredients. You’re going to need <em>two large artichokes</em>, but see if you can find them at a farmer’s market or other organic foods purveyor. You’re also going to need olive oil, lemon, garlic and salt and pepper, and here are some tips to make sure you’ve got the best: <ul> <li>1 Lemon – Get a real lemon. Don’t use the little, yellow squeeze bottle that <em>looks</em> like a lemon.</li> <li>4 Cloves Garlic – Chop your own cloves! Splitting the skin is what releases the garlicky flavor. Using pre-chopped garlic or garlic powder won’t give you the same zing.</li> <li>1 Cup Olive Oil – Seek out olive oil that is made of olives that come from the same farm. Blended oils muddy the flavor of the food, whereas pure oils reveal and enhance flavors.</li> <li>1/2 Tsp. Each Salt &amp; Pepper – Salt is just salt, but pepper comes in several different varieties. Complement the garlic and artichoke flavor with fresh, coarsely ground white pepper, which is slightly more intense than the black variety.</li> </ul> <em>The Method</em> First, trim the tops of your artichokes, halve them, and boil the four sections in water for 15 minutes. If you’re not prepared to boil them immediately, you can halve them and leave them to soak in cold water spiked with a quarter of your lemon. After boiling, drain the artichokes. In a clean bowl, squeeze in the rest of your lemon along with the rest of the ingredients and stir. Brush the artichokes with the mixture so that they are well-coated. Basting and turning frequently, grill the ‘chokes for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat – until the tips start to char. Serve with the rest of the mixture for dipping, or take it up a notch with a cool, creamy dill sauce. <em>Et voila!</em> <a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes you enjoy your foray into artisanal grilling with this healthy, tasty recipe.
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