Traditional recipes

José Andrés' Fried Baby Artichokes and More Recipes

José Andrés' Fried Baby Artichokes and More Recipes

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José Andrés kicks off artichoke season with this fried baby artichoke recipe.


José Andrés

This is a bowl of marinated beets and rice, but it’s also one of our best sellers at Beefsteak. Charisse Dickens, our amazing Hawaiian chef and a dear friend who manages a lot of our R&D, cringes a bit when we use the word poke to describe these beets. To her, poke is marinated fish, the dish that has started showing up everywhere across the United States these past few years, and that’s it. I told her we could call this marinated beets and rice, but then it would only be half as popular at Beefsteak.

Average user rating 4 / 4 Reviews 1 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 100 %

Squash Blossom Cheeseadilla

One spring, a dozen or so members of my team and I spent a few days at the Chef’s Garden in Ohio experimenting with the farm’s crazy bounty of plants. We were working on intense projects, trying to capture the essence of each vegetable in new and exciting ways. This dish, however, came about almost as an afterthought: Ruben Garcia, my creative director, grated cheese into a nonstick pan, then started sticking different herbs and leaves and baby vegetables into the cheese as it melted and hardened into crispy shells, and the cheeseadilla was born. This version uses squash blossoms, but you can press all kinds of things into the cheese—herbs, edible flowers, asparagus tips, or strips of raw vegetables.

Average user rating 0 / 4 Reviews 0 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 0 %

Carrot Curry

I’ve met some great Indian chefs over the years, people like Sanjeev Kapoor and KN Vinod, who have guided me into the complex world of spices, a world where, honestly, I sometimes feel lost. This curry is a result of such a journey, with big spices like star anise and garam masala that were unknown to me for the first half of my life. You’ll be shocked by how well they play against the sweet meatiness of the carrots. (And how well it pairs with other vegetables like pumpkin, squash, and cauliflower.)

Average user rating 3 / 4 Reviews 1 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 100 %

José's Gin & Tonic

Olive-Orange Vinaigrette

Drizzle this sweet-salty vinaigrette on green salads or on roasted carrots.

Average user rating 4 / 4 Reviews 1 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 100 %

Mojo Verde

Versatile mojo verde is especially nice with steamed artichokes or roasted red peppers.

Average user rating 3 / 4 Reviews 1 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 100 %

Mojo Rojo

Use this smoky, chile-based sauce to add color and heat to blanched cauliflower, green beans, or broccoli.

Average user rating 3 / 4 Reviews 2 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 100 %

Chile-Garlic Shrimp

Pop a few of these to feel lively all night long—they supply energizing iron and protein. And capsaicin, the compound that gives chiles their fire, may kick up your metabolism.

Average user rating 4 / 4 Reviews 11 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 100 %

Sangria Blanca

This festive bubbly cocktail doubles as a dessert filled with sweet, fresh fruit. Grape news: It offers the antioxidant resveratrol, which may help reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage.

Average user rating 3 / 4 Reviews 2 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 100 %

Piquillo Peppers Stuffed with Goat Cheese

Party food can peel off pounds! These Spanish peppers could help you drop a size. We use goat cheese instead of traditional manchego to slash fat. Plus, two peppers deliver a third of your daily vitamin C needs, and C has been shown to increase fat burning during exercise.

Average user rating 4 / 4 Reviews 20 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 95 %

Vegetable "Spaghetti"

You'll love this colorful, summery salad. The benefits can't be beat: Antioxidants in many orange veggies may lower your cardiovascular disease risk by up to 20 percent.

Average user rating 3 / 4 Reviews 0 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 0 %

Avocado with Savory Tomato Sorbet and Chips

Your standard celebration staple—guacamole, salsa and chips—deserves a cool upgrade. The classic ingredient combo isn't only yummy, it's also good for you. The healthy monounsaturated fats in avocados help you absorb more cancer-fighting carotenoids from the tomatoes.

Average user rating 4 / 4 Reviews 6 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 100 %

Tuna on Toast

Snacking on this tapa could keep you serene: The omega-3s in tuna may help quell anxiety. Seek out pole-and-line-caught bonito tuna it's safe to eat and sustainable.

Average user rating 3.5 / 4 Reviews 2 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 100 %

Caramelized Tomato Salad with San Simón Cheese

This salad is a mix of fresh and caramelized cherry tomatoes and cubes of smoky San Simón cheese.

Average user rating 4 / 4 Reviews 10 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 100 %

Padrón Peppers Stuffed with Tetilla Cheese

Serve the peppers, salad, and empanada together, tapas style, then follow with the stew and the pancakes. Or, if you prefer, serve the peppers as an appetizer and the salad as a first course. Follow with the stew, the empanada, and the pancakes. Keep in mind that the heat of the peppers varies widely—some are mild, others are hot. The heat is tamed by Tetilla cheese, a creamy cow's-milk cheese from Galicia, and a garlicky mayonnaise that's inspired by Spanish allioli.

Average user rating 3 / 4 Reviews 5 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 60 %

Galician Pork and Vegetable Stew

Traditionally, the broth, meats, and vegetables are all served separately, but feel free to serve everything in the same bowl. The beans need to soak overnight, so start this recipe one day ahead.

Average user rating 2 / 4 Reviews 7 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 43 %

Tuna Empanada

In Galicia, empanadas are large enough to serve many people, unlike the individual empanadas of Latin America.

Average user rating 3 / 4 Reviews 14 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 80 %

Dessert Pancakes with Custard and Berries

These thin, anise-flavored pancakes are similar to French crepes.

Average user rating 3 / 4 Reviews 6 Percentage of reviewers who will make this recipe again 100 %


Trimming tender baby artichokes is simple. As you go, transfer them to lemon water to keep them from turning brown.

This quick and easy pasta is made entirely from ingredients kept in the pantry, so you can make it whenever a carb craving strikes. Inspired by elements often seen on Italian antipasto platters, the pasta is tossed with dry-cured sausage, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes along with a simple tomato paste and olive oil sauce, and topped with toasted pine nuts and crisp peperoncini.


In Hudson Yards’ Spanish market, our critic found more great food and drinks per square foot than anywhere else in New York.

When you come face to face with a classic dish made the way it’s supposed to be, you know it. Mercado Little Spain, the labyrinth of restaurants, bars, kiosks, counters and shops tucked under Hudson Yards at the point where the High Line runs into it, can give you that experience over and over. If gazpacho has always struck you as a pointless salad run through a blender for no good reason, the one here will make you see the point after all.

José Andrés, the chef, restaurateur and unofficial one-man Spanish embassy, is an owner and the perpetual motion machine that drives the project Ferran and Albert Adrià, the brothers who led the culinary innovations at El Bulli, are among his collaborators. Mr. Andrés talks about the project as a tribute to the indoor markets like the Boqueria in Barcelona, places where you go to buy groceries and coffee and a snack, and an hour or two later find that you’ve already had a couple of glasses of wine and decided to stay for lunch.

1 Cochinillo Three-week-old Ibérico piglets, otherwise destined to become Ibérico hams, are shipped to New York and roasted inside a terra-cotta casserole down in the pit where Mercado Little Spain’s open paella fires burn. Like Peking duck, the meat is dark, sweet with melted fat and served under a crunchy rectangle of skin. $92 for a quarter pig and three side dishes, $370 for a whole pig and three side dishes at Leña .

2 Tarta de queso Baked until nearly black on top, this Spanish cheesecake is fluffy and tart, almost dry. Is that a flicker of blue cheese you taste? Yes, it is. $8 at Granja , Pasteles and Spanish Diner .

3 Liquid olive This famous El Bulli dish introduced the spherification technique, which turns juices and other liquids into small, edible water balloons. What got forgotten later on was how delicious the original was. It still is. $2.50 at Bar Celona and La Barra .

4 Piña borracha This “drunken pineapple” is plied with a shot or two of dark rum before it is revived with chopped mint and lime zest. $9 at Leña , Spanish Diner and Frutas y Verduras .

5 Churros y chocolate The churros are substantial, crisp and not full of air. The hot chocolate is dark and bitter enough to remind you that pain can make pleasure more intense. Of course they are a team, but the one your mind will wander to at odd hours of the day is the chocolate. $5 for six churros, $10 for 12 and $4 for hot chocolate at Churros and Spanish Diner .

6 Gambas al estilo de El Bulli A replica of a dish the chef Ferran Adrià created in 1997, before science became central to his vision, this is simply raw Spanish shrimp with puréed caramelized onions and a sauce made from the juices squeezed from the shrimp heads. There’s nothing molecular about the flavor, an intense sudden whoosh of shellfish. $21 at Mar .

7 Huevas de mujol The layer of beeswax on the outside is there to preserve the mullet bottarga, but as it melts on your tongue it also makes the flavor of the salty roe softer and more luxurious, like cream in coffee. $16 at Mar .

8 Ensalada naranja Sweet orange sections and their zest in a briny dressing of olive oil and the juice of green olives — just two ingredients, but nothing’s missing. $9 at La Barra .

9 Chistorra con patatas fritas A thin slice of potato is wrapped around a spicy bite-size sausage, the chistorra, and fried. It’s like a potato chip that’s pregnant with a sausage. $7.50 at La Barra .

10 Pomelo en texturas Fresh grapefruit sections, grapefruit granita and candied grapefruit peel are sprinkled with honey, which turns chewy like caramel when it hits the cold granita. Served in a hollow grapefruit shell, of course. $9 at La Barra .

The comparison doesn’t quite fit. Unlike its European models or even local markets like Eataly and Le District, Mercado Little Spain is not set up to provide the ingredients for tonight’s dinner. What it is useful for is on-the-spot eating of almost unparalleled quality.

I was well into my fifth meal in the complex before I came across a dish I didn’t really like as a general rule, everything is good, which is not something restaurant critics are in the habit of saying. After eating twice in each of its three sit-down restaurants and stitching together another half-dozen meals out of items sold individually at the bars, kiosks and so on, I’m ready to declare that Mercado Little Spain offers more delicious things to eat per square foot than anywhere else in New York.

11 Lacón con patatas A ridiculously simple tapa: boiled potatoes under soft, pink Galician ham, dressed with olive oil and pimentón. $10 at Tortillas de Patatas y Lacón con Patatas .

12 Pan de cristal con tomate One of Spain’s defining dishes, the seemingly simple combination of bread rubbed with tomatoes is almost impossible to reproduce outside the country. The problem? You can’t get the right bread, pan de cristal. The solution, according to Mercado Little Spain? Import it from Catalonia in partly baked loaves, toast it and anoint it with a shimmering spoonful of ripe tomato pulp. $5 or four pieces, $10 for eight at Spanish Diner , La Barra and Frutas y Verduras $6 for four pieces, $12 for eight at Leña .

13 Pomada The bartenders at Mercado Little Spain stir up beautiful gin and tonics served, Spanish style, in goblets. But this spiked, sparkling lemonade, drunk all day on Menorca and embellished here with bergamot juice, is the dark-horse candidate for drink of the summer. $14 at Bar Celona , Spanish Diner , Mar and Leña .

14 Cardenal You could write an architectural treatise on the structure of Albert Adrià’s cardenal, a ring of baked meringue domes and sponge cake living together in unholy matrimony. Or you could pour warm chocolate sauce over it and eat it. $10 at Pasteles .

15 Empanada de cerdo Not the half-moon empanada of the Americas, this is the quadrilateral savory pie of Galicia. The standard tuna empanada is sold, too, but the one stuffed with stewed pork has a little more personality. $8 a portion, $42 for the whole pie at Bocatas y Empanadas .

16 Paella Valenciana Chicken, Spanish rabbit, romano beans and artichokes are stirred with short-grained rice by what looks like a garden rake in pans twice the size of a manhole cover set over a wood fire. $16 at Paella al Plato .

17 Gazpacho Like the painted bunting and the mandarin duck, good gazpacho is occasionally spotted in New York, but it rarely stays long. This one, blended with bread and a nontrivial amount of olive oil, will at least stick around through the end of tomato season. $6 for a cup, $9 for a bowl at Leña , Spanish Diner , La Barra and Frutas y Verduras .

18 Tortilla de patatas Unlike the cold, gray stacks of grainy potatoes sold under the name tortilla Española at a thousand tapas bars, this is inarguably an egg dish, whisked while you watch and slid from the pan while still nervous and yellow in the center. $5 for a quarter tortilla, $16 for a whole at Tortillas de Patatas y Lacón con Patatas $18 for a whole at Leña .

19 Xuixo A Barcelona breakfast standby, a xuixo (SHOE-show) is, more or less, a small, deep-fried croissant filled with pastry cream and rolled in sugar. $6 at Granja , Pasteles and Spanish Diner .

20 Hazelnut soft serve The soft-serve ice creams at Mercado Little Spain are made to spec by OddFellows, which must have some special equipment that can extract the sweetness of toasted fresh hazelnuts and spin it into a frozen swirl that’s absolutely, deliriously smooth. $9 at Helados .

If you are in a rush or hope to feed yourself for under, say, $20, choose one or two items sold at kiosks — for instance, a ham and cheese sandwich called a flauta from the Jamón y Queso counter. The kiosks tend to be efficient, taking your money and handing over your food within five minutes at the outside.

With a little more time, the bars become tempting parking spaces. La Barra is an American-style tapas bar with a longish menu of smallish plates and an edifying list of Spanish wines. Bar Celona specializes in vermouth, cocktails and Spanish-style gin and tonics to drink with the kind of Iberian bar snack that basically goes from jar to a plate without any cooking.

The restaurants are, in a sense, the least rewarding places to spend time at Mercado Little Spain. In part this is because service can be poky and a bit green. In part it is because two of the restaurants, Leña and Mar, aren’t quite separate enough from the market you can see the action outside, and when things get slow you can start to wish you were out there, moving freely. Mar may be the operation’s weakest link. The theme is seafood, but there doesn’t seem to be any underlying sensibility, and some of the best treasures of the Spanish coast have so far been missing.

Even Mar’s razor clams are not as good as the ones served next door at Leña, where they are cooked on a grill, like almost everything on the menu. Grilling brings a kind of austere glory to Leña’s artichokes and asparagus, not to mention the superb lamb chops, fresh Ibérico pork and glorious botifarra sausages paired, following Catalan custom, with white beans.

The idea of the third restaurant, Spanish Diner, is nearly self-explanatory. Pancakes and French toast are served in the morning, tripe stew and ham sandwiches are available in the afternoon and evening, and almost everything can come with eggs, which are fried at almost any hour.

Spanish Diner also serves some of the greatest hits of the kiosks next door. And it has the most charming location in the complex, sheltered under the High Line Spur, which opened along West 30th Street around the same time. With its garage-size doors rolled all the way up almost every day this summer, Spanish Diner is one of the few places in Hudson Yards that welcomes passers-by instead of trying to stun them into submission.


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Marinade was yummy, and the interiors of the artichokes were luscious. However, I still found the outside leaves too tough to eat except by scraping. Not sure if I went wrong somewhere in the cooking, or if that's just the nature of artichokes.

I thought the method in this recipe was good, but I found the result to be surprisingly lacking in flavor.

The Pasadena recipe is still here. I've copied it below: While this recipe is on the right track. I have one that is phenomenal. Never had artichokes on the grill?? Once you have you won't have it any other way.Cheap and plentiful at Trader Joes. purchase any size artichoke. cut stem and trim thorns from leaves. Steam or simmer whole. Cool down and refrigerate till cold. Marinade: 1c. Olive oil 1/2 c. red wine vinegar juice of 1/2 a lemon 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper 1/2 tsp. Herbs de Provence 1 tsp. garlic. Depending on size. cut artichokes in half remove choke with a teaspoon. may want to quarter if large. Pour marinade over artichokes. I cook night before and marinate in the morning..you can leave on the counter or in fridge all day. grill till you see light char marks and they are warmed through. You can serve this with a basil pesto mayo. but the flavor is great on it's own. I usually don't put recipes in my comments, but when I saw this recipe I had to share. just a few more ingredients can make simple. sublime. This recipe was given to me by a restaurant manager. never hurts to ask huh?! Happy Eating. by A Cook from South Pasadena on 05/14/02 Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/reviews/Grilled-Baby-Artichokes-with-Olive-Oil-and-Lemon-106448#ixzz1ulm9tMD7

What happened to the review from the Cook From Pasadena? Surely BA didn't feel they had to remove it becuase it was a better recipe??

Four Forks for the cook from South Pasadena. Look no further, these are THE best grilled artichokes ever! I've been making these for years to rave reviews!

I followed the Pasadena recipe too. I thought it was absolutely delicious but I would change two things next time- less oil (the oil caused flare ups on the grill and it seemed too oily when eaten too) and I would take off more of the outer leaves until you get to the lighter green leaves. Also, you don't need to take the choke out- baby artichokes have edible chokes. Yummy recipe!

WOW DID I GOOF! I used the recipe that Pasadena wrote about, that is the 4 fork recipe. SORRY! To find hers, look on page 1 to find it!

Okay, this is easy. yummy. makes me wish that artichokes grew in my neck of the woods! I made it repeatedly this summer and last.

Well, like almost all the other reviews on here, I'm rating this recipe, not as Bon Appetit wrote it, but I'm rating it for the fabulous recipe that "A Cook from Pasadena" submitted.I think hers' or his' was the first review submitted. (I personally think Bon Appetit should list your recipe, and send you royalties!) We had never grilled artichokes before, and I've never even bought the baby onees, but they were just perfect! My little twist on it, was to add some white wine, a little herbs de provence and some kosher salt to the pot the artichokes were simmering in for added flavor. I only had about 30 minutes for the cooled artichokes to marinate, but they were full of flavor! I thought they would need some aioli or something to dip the leaves in (because we love condiments) but they didn't need a thing! Thanks so much Pasadena cook!

I made as written and really enjoyed the simplicity of the recipe. The lemon and good olive oil complement the artichokes without stealing the show. Easy and relatively quick too!

We loved this, and yes, we did it the way S. Pasadena advised to do it. I found that with these baby artichokes you didn't need to remove the choke. I marinated all day and then poured the marinade back on them after grilling. Bring on the napkins!

Sorry, my comment should have read: Steam the baby chokes for 6-8 minutes, roll them in olive oil (and sherry vinegar or rice wine vinegar, if you feel so inclined) grill them over hardwood charcoal, taking care not to let them burn, until nicely browned and serve them with a homemade Aioli. Deborah Madison has a great Aioli recipe. You really can't go wrong.

the baby chokes for 6-8 minutes, roll them in olive oil (and sherry vinegar or rice wine vinegar, if you feel so inclined) grill them over hardwood charcoal, taking care not to let them burn, until nicely browned and serve them with a homemade Aioli. Deborah Madison has a great Aioli recipe. You really can't go wrong.

Sometimes recipes don't work because they don't tell you what you need to know. Sometimes they are just not that good. I think both are wrong with this one. I don't see a real difference in the origional and "South Pasadena". They both marinate in olive oil and acid. I used the Herbs de Provence, but other seasoning/herbs would have done fine. I left out the garlic, but this should be no big deal. I often cook artichokes with cheese and stuff, and we strip the "meat" from the leaves with out teeth, before eating the hearts. These little guys, cooked this way, have to be denuded of any leaves that have any green fiber (most of the artichoke) whether the leaves have any meat or not. Let's just say that you take a little artichoke and snap off any leaf that is green (as well as cutting of the stem and the "thorns"). Boil this little thing until it is tender, marinate for flavor, and grill to warm and brown. Sounds good.

Like a lot of people, I didn't make this recipe but rather the version detailed by the cook in South Pasadena. Like everyone has said, it was delicious. I made a couple of adjustments. First, I didn't have red wine vinegar in the house, so I used balsamic instead. Also, I would add red pepper flakes next time to give it a little more zing. This is a great accompaniment to the Spicy Marinated Mozzarella with Oregano and Capers also on this site.

Good recipe was intrigued so I made both the Pasadena way and as written. Both were good. As written, you get more artichoke flavor. The Pasadena way reminded me a little of marinated artichoke hearts placed on the grill. If health weren't an issue, I still feel there is nothing better with artichokes than butter and lemon.

I made this for my husband and kids and it was a big hit. I would probably not add any more dressing to the artichokes once the grilling is complete. This made them a little oilier than I would prefer. Flavor was great.

Love the Pasadena recipe! It was too cold and rainy to fire up the grill, so I sauteed the marinated artichoke halves in a deep pan until slightly browned. I also ran out of red wine vinegar so used 1/4 c. vinegar but all the juice from one lemon, liked the lemon flavor. And rosemary instead of herbes de provence.

I tried the "pasadena" recipe and thought it was WAY too overpowering. You couldnt taste any artichoke flavor. The epicurious recipe is much better as it brings out the flavor of the artichoke.

Maybe I did something wrong or maybe I just don't like artichikes but this really was the worst dish I've ever made (following the Pasadena recipe).

Hats off to Pasadena - thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe! I made that recipe last night and they were a hit! As other reviewers have stated it's SO much easier to remove the choke after cooking. Will make again and again! Now I know exactly what to do with the baby artichokes you see in Trader Joe's all the time.

WOW! Thanks Pasadena (1st reviewer). You are right, this is the ultimate artichoke recipe. Simply outstanding! We used sherry vinegar instead of the red wine (it was on hand) with excellent results. Awesome.

Follow the Pasadena recipe and process. It's so much easier to cook the artichoke first and then remove all the insides. the marinade from the reviewed in Pasadena is AWESOME!! This is a GREAT recipe.

Like everyone else, I'm reviewing the South Pasedena cook recipe (see "More Reviews") and not the recipe listed above. The results are fab. No need for dipping sauce. I pressure cooked the artichokes for 7 minutes before cooling / marinating / grilling them.

It doesn't get any better than this! Thanks to the reviewer from Pasadena. Truly delicious! Two thumbs up! As an aside, I note that almost all the reviewers are from California -- I guess grilling artichokes is the California method of choice!


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Too much work for something that doesn't taste amazing. They looked better than they tasted. Better off with simply frying artickoke hearts w/side of aioli.

couldn't figure out from the picture if these were artichoke hearts. I used the hearts and they were nothing special.

Mixed white cheddar and jack 1/2 and 1/2 chopped up some immature garlic from the garden and mixed it in with the cheese. It's not a small amount of work but baby artichokes never are. Everyone raved.

The flavor was ok, but definitely NOT worth all the effort. It took over an hour to get the artichokes prepared to deep fry. I'll look for another recipe for baby artichokes next time.

I served this recipe at Thanksgiving and it was devoured. I was surprized how simple it was to prepare--yet it was very elegant. Only thing I changed was the cheese: a sharp white cheddar and I sauteed them in a little olive oil and butter with a little minced garlic. I'm not good at deep frying either.

This came out very well, even for the novice deep fryer that I am. I took a previous reviewer's suggestion and served with cold marinara sauce, which was the perfect compliment.

nice and got great reviews from my dinner guests. Lighten up Karl - this is a forum for chefs - not pompous a**es.

To the cook from Sunrise, FL, maybe your doing something wrong. I think as people become better chefs they learn to work a little faster. I thought that this was an interesting appetizer. A strong wow factor from guests. I think that the artichokes that I found were actually mini artichokes. They were about the size of a strawberry after they were fried, so I did not cut them in half. I served them on a platter with a thick marinara sauce that guests could spoon over, which went very well. To any cook that complains about a recipe that is to detailed, stay off epicurious please, go and buy the cheap worthless cookbook rags at the checkout stand.

These are good, but way to much work. I spent too long in the kitchen for such a small plate of appetizers. I don't mind spending this much time on something that is incredible. This was just ok. Not worth it to me.

I made these as an appetizer for my husband's birthday dinner last night. They were wonderful. I made a mistake and cut the artichokes in half before stuffing them, but I think they were actually better than they would have been because the bread crumbs didn't stick to the artichoke well at all but they did stick to the cheese. I used a rustic baguette to make the bread crumbs. They weren't ground very finely, but they worked and were terrific. I'll definiitely make these again!


Artichokes and Cheesy Grits

One of the things I loved about living in San Jose was that the ocean was a short twenty minute drive over the Santa Cruz Mountains. Once over the mountains you felt a world away from tech capital of the world, as the hot stale air of the valley gave way to a cool ocean breeze. Heading north or south on Highway 1 from Santa Cruz brought with it endless miles of beautiful coastline lined with seaside farms.

Nearly 100% of artichokes found in the US come from this area and the prickly shrub , a member of the thistle family, can be seen all the way down to Monterey. Whenever I headed down that way, I’d always stop by a road-side stand and pick up a giant bag of artichokes for a few bucks. Back then, I thought of artichokes as a second-rate vegetable that was cheap and fun to eat. Imagine my surprise when I moved out to New York and saw artichokes selling for several bucks a piece!

Since there’s not much to eat on an artichoke, I could never bring myself to shell out the cash for them here in New York, so it’s been over 5 years since I’ve had one. That dry-spell came to an end when I found twelve-packs of baby artichokes at WholeFoods for $2! Delighted, I picked up a couple packs of the gorgeous green buds.

With New York defrosting, spring is almost in the air as I stared into my uncharacteristically barren fridge, I decided it was time for something vegetarian. This is my take on the Southern classic “shrimp and grits”, sans the crustaceans. It’s not that artichokes in any way resemble shrimp, but something about garlicky artichokes on a bed of creamy grits just sounded right.

The tender sauteed baby artichokes are studded with bits of browned garlic and are buttery and lightly caramelized around the edges. A splash of lemon added at the end gives them just enough tang to contrast the creamy bed of grits that they rest on. The grits aren’t merely a side in this dish though, so I loaded them up with cheese to give them a healthy dose of umami. There’s no bacon or shrimp to be found in this dish, but with the amount of flavor it packs, the meat won’t be missed.


É by José Andrés

Deep inside Jaleo, José Andrés’s well-known and popular Spanish tapas restaurant, lies another almost hidden, restaurant-within-a-restaurant called simply “é.” é is one of José Andrés’s gastronomical “playgrounds” where he delights diners with various tastes, smells, and sights through the use of molecular gastronomy, among many other techniques.

é joins the ranks of José Andrés’s other two “flagship” restaurants that serve related exploratory-type tasting meals: minibar in DC and Saam in Los Angeles. Unlike minibar, which draws from numerous different cuisines and pushes the envelope on using new, modern techniques, é is decidedly more Spanish, applying new cooking techniques to age-old Spanish ingredients and dishes.

With only eight seats and two seatings a night, reservations at this tiny little bar are infamously difficult to get. There’s no online book system or phone number to call. Instead, all reservations are simply done via email.

If you’re lucky enough to get a confirmed reservation, you actually get an email that begins with “Congratulations, you’ve made it!” To make it feel extra special, “golden tickets” for the “show” arrive in the mail a few days later.

They urge you to arrive early. After all, it’s a tightly orchestrated “performance” that aims to bring you through a journey of 23 individual tastes in a little over two hours. There are two seatings a night – one at 5:30 and one at 8:30. There’s no room for error. They must finish the first show by around 8:15PM.

Because we arrive early (as they requested), they bring us to the bar at Jaleo to relax for a few minutes while they finish setting up.

A little after 5:30, we are whisked away to the deep interior of the restaurant, where we find another glass door.

Welcome to the show. Your journey is about to begin.

The seating at é is quite intimate. Eights seats wrap around a semi-circular bar, where every single diner gets up-front and personal front row seats facing the kitchen. Rows of old-school card catalogs line a wall, and whimsical art and odd knick knacks decorate the walls and shelves.

Sous chef Cody Jeffs kicks off the show with a dramatic flair, pouring liquid nitrogen into a flask full of orange blossom water. A pool of smoke arises, spilling all over the table.

This liquid nitrogen-chilled water is mixed with Mazanilla sherry to create our first “course”, a Rebujito Cocktail which is absolutely refreshing and delicious.
Chef Cody and another sous chef soon lay out eight molds in the shape of José Andrés’s hands.
They gently lay out whimsical balls of Truffle Cotton Candy, our second course, each topped with edible gold flakes. This is paired alongside Idiazabal “Macaron”, an tense, cheesy cookie that pairs beautifully with the cottom candy.

It’s as if José Andrés is personally serving us all cotton candy.

I sincerely love both. The truffle cotton candy is intoxicating with strong truffle flavor, and the salty, intensely cheesy “macarons” are a perfect match.

Next, the chefs begin laying out perfectly formed hemispheres that look just like egg shells, have the consistency of chocolate, and taste like almonds.

These cold shells, presumably made with the use of liquid nitrogen (?) are called Nitro Almond Cups, and are filled with various almond flavored elements (such as foam) as well as a generous portion of caviar. The champagne with which this course is paired nicely bring out the nuttiness of the almonds.

The next course, called Apple “Brazo de Gitano”, reminds me of a similar course I had at Samm in Los Angeles. Airy, almost like styrofoam, this savory bite beautifully pairs together the flavors of apple and a strong blue cheese.

Next we enjoy another bite that looks like it should be sweet, but is actually savory. Barquillo is a traditional Spanish rolled wafer cookie.

Here, the barquillos contain a rich and savory truffle and anchovy filling that has the consistency of whipped cream. The flavors are absolutely fantastic, and our one little bite leaves me wishing for more.
The playful name “Almejas al Natural“ literally means “natural clams”, though in fact it’s anything but. These unassuming “clams” are actually filled with spherified balls of reconstituted clam juice. The resulting bite is gorgeously flavorful with intense clam flavors, and pairs well with the sherry with which it is paired.

The next course, Bocata de Bacalao, again reminds me of Chef Andres’s “Bahn Mi” that I had at Samm. Although the fried bread is similar from both places, this é version is more Spanish, made from salt cod, aioli, and caramelize onions. It’s deeply savory and quite rich.

Crispy Chicken Skin in Escabeche consists of a paper thin, flattened crispy chicken skin topped with chicken oysters and a foam inspired by “Escabeche” flavors, an acidic marinade traditionally used in Mediterranean cuisine. I find this dish to be tasty, though I am not particularly blown away by the flavors like I was for previous courses.

As a palate cleanser of sorts, we take a break from savory bites to enjoy a huge spherified ball of Cava Sangria. This is fun, and I am surprised at how much it really taste like cava. Knowing from experience, sometimes it’s not that trivial to make your spherified liquid taste the same as it is in its liquid form, especially when it comes to complex wines.
I’ve lost count at this point, but I can tell the dishes are getting more substantial and less like little “bites.”

Our next course is Artichoke “Puree” with Vanilla. Three perfectly formed artichoke hearts sit at the center of this dish, served with a rich, artichoke flavored sauce and vanilla foam. It’s wonderfully flavorful, though I don’t find any groundbreaking new flavors.
It’s hard to take notes for this meal, as things happen so quickly you might miss something if you’re head is buried in your notebook or phone. For example, during the preparation of the next course, Lobster with Citrus & Jasmine, the chefs draw a little “é” into the sauce of each plate (see middle picture above).

It is only there for a fleeting second, and soon a succulent piece of lobster tail is laid over the pretty letter that was just carefully drawn moments before.

This juicy piece of lobster tail is served with jasmine foam and tiny bits of fruit. The dish is paired with either a Spanish beer or a sparkling white wine (depending on whether guests opt for the normal pairing or grand pairing).

The next dish is one of my favorites of the entire meal. Chickpea Stew with Iberico Ham may sound simple, but the actual preparation that goes into this soup is astounding. Jamon iberico fat is first clarified and then emulsified together with three different stocks made with different types of bones. The “chickpeas” that you see in the photo are actually spherified balls with an intense, creamy essence that is much more than just chick pea. Finally, little bits of actual jamon iberico “bacon” dot the plate, rounding out the wonderful tastes and textures of this complex soup.

We were scraping the bottom of the bowl, trying to get every last drop of this flavorful elixir into our mouths.

Bryan loves bone marrow, and therefore loves the next course, Turbot with Bone Marrow. The simply prepared turbot (probably prepared sous vide) is topped with its skin fried and served with deep fried capers. Bryan loves the breaded and deep fried bone marrow “tater tots” served on the side. I personally find it to be way to rich and fatty, but Bryan loves it.

Chef Cody then brings out an entire lobe of foie gras covered in salt and herbs, appropriately named Whole Lobe of Foie Gras Baked in Salt.

It is served with tiny cubes of confit grapefruit, a paint-stroke of chocolate, and a light, clementine soup. The balance of the slightly salty foie gras and the sweetness from the other components works quite well.

Chef Cody explains to us the meaning behind the next dish, Secreto of Iberico Pork with Squid. The “secreto” is a particular “secret” part of the pig that butchers used to love keeping for themselves because it was so tasty.
This lovely piece of jamon iberico shoulder secreto is served with a squid jus sauce, made from squid a la plancha (on the grill).

Finally, it’s time for dessert. We are quite stuffed at this point, and hardly realize there is still so much more to come . . . .
Orange Pith Puree La Serena is almost like a transitional cheese course, savory and sweet at the same time. La Serena is a 60-day aged Spanish raw sheep’s milk cheese, strong, creamy and salty. It is topped with a fun, flat foamy sheet and whimsical flowers.

Flan is a traditional Spanish custard. Here, we enjoy tiny little cups of flan alongside crushed fruity ice.

The dramatic show continues as Chef Cody begins to cook “pirate-spiced” rum (lemon zest, vanilla, and cinnamon) and coffee together with this electrifying blue flame.

It’s almost hypnotizing to watch the blue flame as Chef Cody repeatedly raises and lowers his spoon.

The resultant coffee rum drink is served in a tiny espresso glass alongside Pan Con Chocolate, literally “bread with chocolate”. Here, bread baked in simple syrup is covered with a chocolate powder which tastes like shaved frozen chocolate mousse served with saffron olive oil. The flavor combination works surprisingly well.

“Arroz Con Leche”, a traditional Spanish tapioca pudding, comes inside a tiny candied cone as a single, delicious bite.

And the desserts keep coming!

Chef Cody begins to make “25 second Bizcocho”, an almond cone-shaped cake that is “baked” in the microwave for 25 seconds.

The cake is moist, not too sweet, and filled with a light cream. This is served with “Air” Chocolate, a fantastic bite of salt-topped chocolate with air holes all throughout the inside. It sort of reminds me of the British chocolate called “Aero.”

And finally, a delightfully fun final dessert that is visually huge, but takes up virtually no stomach space. The Cocoa Paper with Dried Strawberry is extremely delicate. I believe it’s made mainly from sugar, but this paper-thin sculpture crumbles and quickly disintegrates in your mouth as you eat it.

I love it, and finish my entire piece.

We finish this off with José Andrés’s signature drink – his awesome gin and tonic. I first had this drink at Jaleo in Washington DC. It’s there that I realized that I love gin & tonic. Andrés’s version uses Hendrick’s gin, Fever Tree tonic, kaffir lime, lemon, and juniper.

It’s a perfect, refreshing way to end the evening.

As you would expect at the end of any show, the “characters” come out for a bow as we applaud their hard work.

It is only about 8:05PM, plenty of time before the next show. Most guests leave, but we hang around a bit, savoring the space, chatting with the staff.

I’ve got a huge smile on my face, because I’ve had so much fun the entire evening.

The food was absolutely phenomenal. I loved José Andrés’s creative intepretations of traditional Spanish classics. Even though he does some similar dishes at Samm in Los Angeles, I much prefer this meal over that one, possibly because I didn’t like the French-inspired dishes as much at Samm.

This could very well become one of my favorite meals I’ve ever had in Las Vegas.

I like it when I’m surprised by new and innovative flavor combinations, and é does not disappoint. Even though José Andrés says it’s more Spanish and more conservative, I still find it to be refreshingly different from the traditional French-inspired tasting menus that you typically find. Plus, his use and command of molecular gastronomy still sets his food apart from most high-end meals around.

Of course, it’s also possible I just like the bold flavors of Spanish cuisine more.

Whatever the reason, I had a wonderfully memorable time at é and I would highly recommend trying to get a reservation if you can. It’s become one of my favorite meals in Vegas, and I can’t wait to try it again when I return. I know they change the menu quarterly, so you can go back and (hopefully) try a range of a totally new set of surprising flavors.

The Details
Reservations are only done by emailing [email protected] up to three months before your date of dining. If they indicate availability, you must fill out and sign a form (more like a contract, really) where you give them your credit card number and agree to a few terms. Any cancellation made less than 14 days before dining date results in a 50% cancellation fee. A no-show results in a 100% cancellation fee.

The tasting menu is $195 and does not include alcohol or gratuity. There are two pairings: the standard pairing costs $130 and the premium pairing costs $300 (see below for both full lists). You can also order off of the extensive wine list (given to you in the form of a tablet!), which is shared with Jaleo.

Definitely put your name on the waiting list, as cancellations do happen. I called less than two weeks before my dinner and was able to secure seats for four due to a cancellation that happened a few days later.

Cheers!

Want to read more Vegas posts? Check out the Las Vegas Eating Guide which includes links to all Las Vegas area restaurant posts I’ve written.

WINE PAIRINGS
Standard Pairing
2008 Agusti Torello Mata Reserva Cava
La Gitana “En Rama” Jerez Hidalgo, Manzanilla (Sherry)
Alvear “Carlos VII” Amontillado Montilla-Morales (Sherry)
Estrella Damm Inedit (Beer)
2002 R. Lopez De Heredia “Vina Gravonia” Rioja (Crianza Blanco)
East India Solera Jerez NV E. Lustau (Sherry)
2000 Alejandro Fernandez “Dehesa La Granja” Zamora (Tempranillo)
2008 Jorge Ordonez & Co. “Victoria” Malaga (Moscatel)
2004 Gunderloch Nackenheim Rothenberg Trockenbeerenauslese (Riesling)
Ron Cremant (Warm rum and coffee cocktail)
Jose’s Gin & Tonic

Premium Pairing
Krug Grand Cuvee Brut NV Reims
Pasada Pastrana Jerez Hidalgo, Manzanilla (Sherry)
Bodegas Tradicion V.O.R.S. Jerez Oloroso (Sherry)
2009 Txomin Etxaniz Txakoli Getariao Txakolina
2000 R. Lopez De Heredia “Vina Tondonia” Gran Reserva Rioja (Rosé)
East India Solera Jerez NV E. Lustau (Sherry)
2003 Vega-Sicilia Valbuena 5° Año Ribera del Duero
2004 Gunderloch Nackenheim Rothenberg Trockenbeerenauslese (Riesling)
Ron Cremant (Warm rum and coffee cocktail)
Jose’s Gin & Tonic

e by Jose Andres
The Cosmopolitan (inside Jaleo)
3708 Las Vegas Blvd
S Las Vegas, NV 89109


April Bloomfield Loves Artichokes and Wants You to Love Them, Too

If you've never cooked with artichokes beyond steaming them whole and turning frozen hearts into spinach artichoke dip , April Bloomfield wants to teach you how.

"I think people are scared of artichokes , and anything green, because they’re scared of over-boiling them or making them brown," says the chef and owner of restaurants like The Spotted Pig and The Breslin . Bloomfield recently stopped by Bon Appétit HQ for our Night Kitchen dinner party series , where she cooked up a vegetable-laden meal that included a salad of pot-roasted artichokes, chickweed, and grass-cut flowers.

Artichokes are quite versatile after you learn how to "turn" them, which involves removing the tough outer leaves, then scooping out the feathery choke in the middle (this is also referred to as "dechoking"). See our step-by-step guide to turning artichokes (there are GIFs!), then check out Bloomfield's three simple ways to eat them.

Eat Them Raw

Raw artichokes require the least amount of prep work, which makes it a great first step for the artichoke-shy. Bloomfield suggests peeling and dechoking some baby artichokes, then thinly slicing them with a knife or mandoline. Toss with lemon juice, olive oil, and Parmesan , which all complement the raw artichoke's tart and pleasantly bitter flavor. Bloomfield also likes to dress raw artichokes with a drizzle of bright vinegar (herb-infused, if you like), olive oil, and salt. "A nice vinegar will help cut the bitterness a little bit and really opens them up," Bloomfield says.

Thinly slice raw artichokes for this Raw Artichoke, Celery, and Parmesan Salad. Photo: Marcus Nilsson

Pot-Roast Them

Pot-roasting is Bloomfield's favorite cooking method for making herby, salty, creamy artichokes. "By the time they're done, they have this salty caramel that attaches itself to the artichokes," Bloomfield says. Plus, it's just fun to watch fresh artichokes go from green to pale white, then brown and crispy. Bloomfield likes to serve her Pot-Roasted Artichokes as a side with a piece of fish or lamb, or in a simple salad that highlights the flavors of the white wine, garlic, and mint that cook with the artichokes. To make a salad with your beautifully pot-roasted artichokes, arrange them on a platter with some arugula or pea shoots and finish with a little bit of lemon, olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt, if needed.

A recent Bloomfield creation featured pot-roasted artichokes, chickweed, and grass-cut flowers. Photo: Alex Lau

And of Course, Deep Fry ɾm

For a crunchy treat, peel and dechoke artichokes, then either slice thinly or cut up into ½"-1" chunks. Dip the artichoke pieces in milk, then dredge in flour and deep-fry them in oil heated to 350°. Fry thin slices for 30 seconds or chunks for about 5 minutes, then sprinkle with sea salt after they come out of the hot oil. Bloomfield likes to serve fried artichokes with a wedge of lemon or something to dip them in, like a garlicky mayonnaise or an herb aioli.

With Artichokes, as in Life, Persist!

Like shelling peas, there's no speeding up the process of turning artichokes—you just have to do it to get to the good stuff, one by one. " It gives you a moment to just concentrate on that one thing and it’s kind of nice," Bloomfield says. "Cooking in general is like that."


Pairings and useful tips

The fragrance of cardoon and spring flowers is intense, and reveals a perfect blend of bitterness on the palate thanks to the presences of tannins and sweetness. The texture is complex: the lower part of the bracts is fleshy yet tender and crisp at the same time. It is highly versatile in cooking, since it may be eaten raw, fried, filled with various ingredients, combined with pasta and risotto, preserved or even served as dessert. It has a particular penchant for garlic, onion, mint and parsley.

One of the signature dishes in which it reigns supreme is Carciofo e rosmarino (artichoke and rosemary) by three Michelin-starred Italian chef Niko Romito. “The notes of anchovy and liquorice typical of the artichoke return to the palate,” says the Abruzzo-born chef. It's nothing but artichoke cooked sous vide for one hour at 90 degrees before being brushed with resin extracted from the herb-aromatised stem.

Another dish that brings out the Sardinian spirit of the artichoke is fregola, a typical durum wheat semolina pasta, thorny Sardinian artichoke and calamari. Our recommendation for a gourmet pairing is to marry sliced artichoke dressed in oil and lemon with mullet roe bottarga.


Watch the video: How to Make Fried Artichokes (December 2021).