The Recipes

Bacon-wrapped Artichokes

Snowboarding was awesome, but it's nice to be back in my own kitchen.  My gear is stowed, so now it's time for a snack (and maybe some bourbon-spiked cider).

Some of my bacon-loving friends would be so proud.  Take something perfectly vegetarian and healthy, wrap it up in pork fat, and it's just SO much better.  Of course, if you can find good-looking artichokes in the store, feel free to pick a few up.  One artichoke can be trimmed to reveal the heart and cut into quarters.



Bacon-wrapped Artichokes

Ingredients:

- 6-8 frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- 1 roasted red bell pepper, stems and seeds removed
- 1 roasted yellow bell pepper, stems and seeds removed
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 c. vegetable stock
- 1 c. vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 piece of bacon for each artichoke
- salt
- pepper

If you have a gas range, blister the peppers on the stove until charred on each side.  If you have electric burners, heat the oven to broil and place the peppers in the oven with the door slightly ajar to char on each side.  Place the peppers in a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap.

Meanwhile, soak toothpicks in water.  Cut the bacon strips in half and wrap 1/2 slice around each artichoke and secure with a toothpick.

Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the majority of the charred skin, seeds, stems and ribs.  Add one of the peppers to a blender or food processor with 1/2 of the stock and 1/2 of the garlic.  Puree until smooth and season with salt and pepper.  Repeat the processor in a clean blender with the other peppers.  Set the two purees aside.

Heat the olive oil in a high-sided pan to 325 degrees.  Slowly add the bacon-wrapped artichokes to the oil and fry for 3 minutes.  Remove them to a paper-towel lined plate.  On a plate, add a couple of spoonfuls of each puree.  Plate the artichokes on top.