All Easy Recipes. Cook all that you can cook. Oysters And Artichokes
What You Need:            (To Serve: 6 as a first course)
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  • 6 large artichokes, each 4 to 5 inches in diameter at the base
  • 1 quart cold water combined with 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 dozen medium-sized oysters, shucked, with all their liquor reserved
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • cup soft fresh crumbs made from French- or Italian-type bread with all the crusts removed and pulverized in a blender or finely shredded with a fork
  • 1 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 cup chicken stock, fresh or canned cup cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon strained fresh lemon juice
  • teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)

  • How To Cook:
    1. Wash the artichokes under cold running water and bend and snap off the small bottom leaves and any bruised outer leaves. Then drop the artichokes into enough lightly salted boiling water to cover them completely and cook briskly, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bases show no resistance when pierced with the point of a small sharp knife.

    2. With tongs, transfer the artichokes to a colander and invert them to drain. Cut off the stems flush with the bases of the artichokes, and drop the stems into a small bowl.

    3. Cut or pull off about two dozen of the large outside leaves of the artichokes and, with a spoon, scrape the soft pulp from each leaf into the bowl with the stems. (Discard the scraped leaves.) Using the back of a fork, mash the pulp and stems to a puree. There should be about cup of puree; if necessary, pull off and scrape more leaves.

    4. Cut or pull off the remaining green leaves of the artichokes, cover with foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Following the diagram, pull the thistle like yellow leaves and hairy inner chokes away from the artichoke bottoms.

    5. Trim the surface of the artichoke bottoms, drop them into a bowl and pour the water-and-lemon juice mixture over them. The liquid should cover the artichoke bottoms completely; if necessary, add more water. Set the bottoms aside.

    6. About 15 minutes before you plan to serve the oysters and artichokes, drain the oysters and their liquor through a fine sieve lined with a double thickness of dampened cheesecloth and set over a bowl. Measure and reserve 1 cup of the oyster liquor. (If there is less than 1 cup, add fresh or bottled clam broth to make that amount.)

    7. Pat the oysters dry with paper towels and cut them into quarters. Rinse the artichoke bottoms briefly under cold water, pat them dry with paper towels and cut them into -inch dice. Reserve the oysters and artichoke bottom dice in a bowl. In a heavy 6- to 8-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat, add the bread crumbs and stir until they are crisp and golden. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

    8. Prepare the oyster-and-artichoke sauce in the following manner: In a 1- to 1 -quart enameled or stainless-steel saucepan, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter over moderate heat. When the foam begins to subside, add the garlic and stir for 1 minute.

    9. Add the paprika, then stir in the reserved artichoke puree, the oyster liquor and chicken stock. Stirring constantly with a wire whisk, bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan partially and simmer for 10 minutes.

    10. Transfer the entire contents of the saucepan to the jar of an electric blender and blend at high speed for about 30 seconds to reduce the mixture to a smooth puree. Return the puree to the saucepan and set over high heat.

    11. Give the cornstarch-and-water combination a quick stir to recombine it, then pour it slowly into the puree and whisk constantly until the mixture comes to a boil.

    12. Stir in the oysters and diced artichoke bottoms, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes. When the oysters plump and their edges begin to curl, add the reserved bread crumbs, the lemon juice and the red pepper, and taste the sauce for seasoning.

    13. To serve, ladle the sauce into six small bowls, dividing it evenly among them. Place each bowl in the center of a serving plate and arrange the chilled artichoke leaves attractively around it.

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