Feb 18, 2012

Moroccan Artichoke Hearts with Rice or Quq bil Rozz


I never had artichokes until I had a tajine with them in it a few years ago.  After the first bite I was hooked.  At Penn Station their artichoke and cheese sandwich is my favorite. The downside is that they are expensive.  At $2.00 each, a dish that includes them can be expensive.  I just discovered that my local market has artichokes in the frozen food section. I found a 12 oz bag for about $3.50, which is not bad.  I really like this dish and it can be served with anything you like. I chose to fry some chicken wings, which was perfect. In addition, I used fresh thyme for the first time.  I come from a long line of dried herb users.  The smell is incredible and well worth the effort of trying to find it. 

Ingredients:

4 large or 8 small artichokes or use a 12 oz frozen bag of artichokes
1 cup of rice, I used basmati
2 cups of waters
2 tbs fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dry
a pinch of saffron
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 tbs olive oil
1 tbs ghee, optional
salt\pepper to taste
lemon or lime juice, to taste

If using fresh artichokes, first prepare each one by removing most of the stalk and leaves. The heart is at the base. Use a spoon to remove the hairy part.  Trim the sides and bottom.  Then place the heart in water with a bit of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. If using frozen ones, thaw before using.  Then cut them into quarters once thawed.  Take a medium pan and place on medium heat.  Next, add the garlic and thyme leaves.  Saute for a couple of minutes.  Then add the artichokes, rice, water, salt, pepper, and ghee.  Bring to a boil and turn the heat down to simmer and cook until the rice has absorbed all of the water, about 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with a little lemon or lime juice to give it a tangy flavor or not at all. Enjoy!