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A Simple Saturday Night Meal or Barbecue Chicken and Fried Baby Artichokes

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Barbecue Chicken, roasted asparagus, fried baby artichokes with Greek Yogurt dip and red grapes

It had been a long day of work-outside-in-the-yard for Y!C! on Saturday. We ordered some useful-yet-decorative cement blocks for the yard, so Y!C! and my youngest son hauled those around to make our yard look a bit more tidy.

New low cement block wall

When you live in the forest it is a constant battle to grow things (especially grass) and keep the deer/rabbits/raccoons/gophers/turkeys, etc. from eating up all your hard work.  For years I have tried to grow roses, but the deer come thru like locust with antlers and eat the buds, leaves and thorns leaving only the stems.  It is a lovely stem garden, though. Sigh.

Our yard is big and the men laid down about 400 pieces of block each weighing more than 10 pounds. But, the yard looked much more defined when they were done.  You can see that we have lots of trees (and pine needles) to deal with.

Obie T. Dogg and Yes!Chef! survey their handiwork

After this, he headed to the back of the house to work on our deck.  A good portion of our deck had become rotten, and he had removed the old boards some time ago.  So, he spent the rest of the afternoon installing new boards.

Yes!Chef! turns into Yes!Carpenter!

Occasionally I would hold a board for him, but mostly I worked in the house (housework, BLECH!) and got distracted with doing some more photos.

Woody:  This guy was as big as a cat!

At the end of the day, Yes!Chef! sat on his mostly-finished deck with a cold Stella.  He was a tired, but happy guy.

Stella on the deck

He didn’t much feel like cooking anything elaborate because, well, he was tired.  Since we now had access to the backyard, Y!C! decided to barbecue some chicken thighs that we had on hand.  He also roasted up some asparagus in the grill pan. I had some baby artichokes because I wanted to try Ina Garten’s Fried Baby Artichoke recipe again, this time using real baby artichokes instead of adult chokes that had been pared down.

The baby artichokes were much easier to deal with because their “chokes” hadn’t developed yet, so I just pulled off 18 outer leaves on each one, cut the stem and top part off, then cut them in half.  They fried up nicely and were very easy to make.

Fried Baby Artichokes

I also made up the Greek Yogurt dip again.  I would highly recommend making the dip with this recipe.  I found the baby chokes to have a slight bitter after taste, so the dip helped to counteract the slight bitterness.

Here’s the recipe again:

Fried Baby Artichokes

2012, David Ziff, All Rights Reserved

Serves:
4 servings

Ingredients

  • 10 baby artichokes
  • Olive oil
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Remove and discard the artichoke stems. Peel off lower leaves (approximately 18.) Slice off the top half so that only the light green remains (artichokes should be approximately 1 1/4 inches), then cut the artichoke in half lengthwise.

Place the artichokes in a medium pot, flat side down, and add olive oil to just cover. Add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring the olive oil to a boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat to a low flame and simmer for 15 minutes. Insert a knife into the lower half and if easily penetrated, it’s done.

Remove the thyme and garlic from the pot, raise the heat and fry uncovered for approximately 2 minutes, turning over the artichokes midway. They are done when brown and crispy. Remove the artichokes from the pot and place them on paper towels flat side down. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Pretty easy!

Here’s the dip:

Yogurt Dip

2012, David Ziff, All Rights Reserved

Serves:
4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 32.5 to 35.3 ounces Greek yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

Drain the yogurt in cheesecloth or paper towel for a short while so it thickens even more. Place the yogurt in a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix together.

Yes!Chef! wanted to keep the meal as simple as possible so he used some store-bought barbecue sauce that he doctored up a bit for the chicken.  He simply

roasted the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper.  That’s it.  Simple, fresh and homemade. A great summer meal to enjoy outside on your deck!

A simple summer meal

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Gorgeous and YUM!!!

    June 6, 2012
  2. Reblogged this on Cooking with My Best Friend and commented:
    Must try these!

    June 6, 2012
  3. Yum!!!!! I want to eat my monitor.

    June 21, 2012

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