A Cajun chef from Louisiana was chatting with me about artichokes once and I found out that his recipe for stuffed artichokes that he serves in his restaurant and my grandmother's are just about the same! I didn't get the exact amounts from him, but here's my grandmother's recipe-Another holiday favourite we all looked forward to!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees farenheit. First, you need to prep your artichokes. Cut the stems off so they can sit upright. Then turn them sideways and slice about an inch off of the pointy end of it. Then trim the very tips off of the rest of the leaves leaving them flat instead of pointed. Each artichoke should look flat at the top, with lots of little leaves that are straight across at the top of each leaf, and they should be able to stand. Lastly, take each one and bang it upside down, leaves facing down, on the cutting board, to help open them up a bit (Mom:''What's all that noise?'' Me: It's me, banging the artichokes, mom!!'') LOL!!!
Set your artichokes in a steamer rack with water in your pot, and steam them for about 15 minutes. Just enough time to par-cook them. You don't want the leaves falling off of them. Allow them to cool a bit so you can handle them while you stuff them.
In the meantime, make your stuffing: combine your breadcrumbs, parmigiana cheese, garlic, dash of salt and pepper all in one bowl and mix together well.
When artichokes are cool enough for you to handle, spoon the stuffing into each leaf section, distributing the stuffing evenly between each leaf and each artichoke. Try to stuff as many leaves as possible.
Place your stuffed artichokes into a casserole dish with a half inch of water. Drizzle Olive oil inside each leaf of all four artichokes--don't spare the olive oil for this. Make sure every leaf has some olive oil. Mist artichokes with water, too, or just sprinkle a bit of water over them as well. Cover with foil and bake for a half an hour. Remove foil and let dry and brown a bit for the next half an hour. To eat these, bite each leaf and pull..if you didn't stuff these, they'd be as if you licked 30 or 40 postage stamps, but the stuffing and the stuff on the leaves combine to create a wonderful taste sensation! You peel away the inner leaves, the inedible part until you get to the heart on the bottom. That's the most delicious part! Hard to make, time consuming, but OH, ARE THESE GOOD!!! Enjoy!