I promised Michael I wouldn't touch my camera during Thanksgiving. My sincere promise would've held up if it hadn't been for a bloody mary influenced mismanagement of time that forced me to roast our tangerine, celery, and onion stuffed herb-buttered 13 pound turkey much later than I'd planned. While I sliced, diced, chopped, assembled, and sipped bloody marys, time simply slipped away.
No shells? For Oysters Rockefeller? Nope. I had artichoke bottoms. Think about it.
Ok, so here's the deal. I adore fresh artichokes. There are few things sexier than plucking petals from a beautifully steamed artichoke, dipping them in drawn butter or hollandaise, and scraping the soft flesh with clinched teeth through pouty puckered lips. Pluck. Dip. Suck. Repeat. All the way down to the hairy choke.
I also enjoy well turned fresh artichoke hearts and bottoms..... if somebody else does the tedious work. Who the hell enjoys cleaning, snipping, peeling, slicing, and paring a raw artichoke down to its glorious bottom? Not me. At All. I always end up with nothing, so I used frozen artichoke bottoms for our Oysters Rockefeller. Yeah, I know. Cop out. Shoot me. It was only a snack and I didn't need a gigantic bowl of acidulated water to keep the fresh botttoms from turning grey.
Traditionally, Oysters Rockefeller are baked on the half shell, topped with a mixture of minced parsley, chervil, watercress, green onion, tarragon, butter, and a splash of anise flavored Herbsaint or Pernod. Too much work. I pared the preparation down to a simpler quick snacky riff on the traditional version using artichoke bottoms as a base.
It was fun, too.