It’s always sad when the holidays are over and all that come with — family time, gift-giving, joyful music, and tons of comforting holiday eats. While I’m looking forward to a spectacular 2015, I’d like to take a look back at one of my favorite dishes I enjoyed over this holiday season.
Each year I make stuffed artichokes around the holidays. They are always a crowd pleaser at parties and also happen to be a beloved family favorite, mainly because the recipe is from my paternal grandmother, whom we fondly call Mamon.
Mamon, who lives in New Iberia, Louisiana with my Pawpaw, is my dad’s mother. I’ve always known her to be not only the strong, loving matriarch of the Shea family (she has 6 children, 18 grandchildren and 17 great-grandkids – fingers crossed my math is correct), but she is also a wonderful cook. Gumbo, shrimp creole, crab cakes — every staple Cajun dish you can name she’s made for me during my visits to Louisiana. And they are always incredible. It’s no wonder Mamon is aptly known by another nickname: Mrs. America. (She’ll always be the queen in my book!)
While I wish we could have spent the holidays with our Louisiana family this year, I find comfort in cooking recipes passed down from such an inspiring woman. An easy go-to appetizer for any special occasion, this dish is packed with Italian flavors and also looks really pretty when served on a platter.
1 large artichoke
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup grated Romano cheese
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt
chopped parsley, salt and black pepper, to taste
In a bowl, mix breadcrumbs, cheeses, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.
Cut off top and bottom of artichoke and mash it to open the leaves. Fill each leaf with dry ingredients. Pour olive oil over the artichoke.
Steam in covered pot or steamer basket, in little water, for 45 minutes or until leaves pull out easily.