10:43 AM
 

The year 2020 is a really weird year and many still try to cope with everything that is going on. I mean there are years where we feel like nothing important is going on and we live from season to season, and then again, there's a year like this, where everything is upside down and the weirdest events shock us. 

It's up to us to live in this negative cloud or just try to make the best out of it. I went through a lot this year as well, but every month that was added to my home isolation, I tried to see it positive and work on special things or at least treat myself and my senses (to keep a normal daily-ish)

I never had so much time to practice my hobbies, mental work, and creative things I can share on OFF COLOR. One thing I've enjoyed the most the last 6 months is cooking and baking. I have always loved it, but now I feel even closer to it and it gives me all the sanity I need. 

Cooking so much, I took this challenge to try more seasonal things or products I have never tested or eaten before. I am studying and never not learning - something I am very successful this year. We can be proud of things like that! 

Instead of sitting around, we are not letting ourselves going down and being overwhelmed with everything. Things might be messy and chaotic, and life seems super hard right now, but there are still things around that give us joy and good vibes. 

To me this currently looks like heading to the supermarket and check out things I don't know. What seasonal things are currently offered? How does the stuff that I am actually running away from taste? This happened with artichokes lately. 


I always admired their look and aesthetics - artichokes got something really fascinating. I don't know what it is, but they magically attract me. Unfortunately, they don't turn me on anymore as soon as I think about eating them. I never tested them and watching videos of how people suck on the leaves never made me curious to let my mouth experience this as well... 


When I visited the farmer's market during a summer day, I said to myself that it's finally time to grow up and buy some artichokes. Instead of testing one first, I bought three, simply blinded by this beauty. At home, I shook my head, not understanding what I would do with three huge artichokes. 


After checking my fridge, I realized that I was not able to create a crazy meal out of this and inside, I was already freaking out how to actually deal with this monster. 


I started cutting the edges, removing the stem, following YouTube video after video... this finally helped me. After I worked myself through all my three artichokes, I looked at a little pile of tender leaves which appeared after plucking all the hard ones. What could I do now? 


Since I am a cry baby and I was still a bit afraid of my artichoke massacre, I impulsively decided to fry these babies and make artichoke chips.

 

And all of a sudden, I was happy and excited again. 

Sorry for telling the longest stories, but I really needed to share my struggle so you understand how I came up with this. (Also motivating you that you shouldn't be afraid to test new things or to feel lost during a cooking preparation - things will always work out somehow). 

It's time to get the oil ready, fry these babies with the right seasoning, eggs, and flour, and enjoy this little party over here. 



ARTICHOKE CHIPS 

YOU NEED 3 artichokes + a bowl of flour + 1 egg, beaten + salt + pepper + garlic powder + a dip of your choice + oil for fyring 


1. Don't be scared doing this. If I can do it, you can do it, too! 

2. Set your coating station first. Put some flour in a small bowl and do the same with an egg and whisk it. Into the flour bowl, make sure to already add a pinch of salt, some pepper, and a good amount of garlic powder! Seasoned flour makes everything way better - so sprinkle your heart out. Also you can already set up a small pot on your stove filled with enough oil to fry the chips later. For the amount of artichoke chips I had, I used about 350ml oil to make sure that nothing is sticking on the bottom of the pot. (Rather work with more oil, than not having enough inside the pot). 

3. Get your artichokes ready and prep them in the right way. Again, this video here is the best to conquer the peeling of artichokes. Remove the stem, cut the edges of each leaf with a scissor, and then pick leaf after leaf, working your way from the hard and dark green outside, to the soft and light green inside. As soon as you reached the softer part, pluck this whole part by twisting it with your hole hand. You'll end up having many silky leaves which are very tender and the hairy bottom. The tender leaves is the stuff we are woking with to get the chips. 

3. Chips ready? Coating station ready? Is the oil in your pot hot and ready to be used? If not wait a few minutes until your oil is ready for frying. I guess many people like to test this with throwing some flour into the oil and watch bubbles appear, others use a toothpick to discover bubbles and action inside the oil. 

4. Take an artichoke leaf now and bathe it in the beaten egg for a few seconds from both sides and throw it into the flour to coat evenly. Transfer it into your pot and let it fry for 1-2 minutes, depending on how hot your oil is. I actually don't really use a clock during this process. Since the leaves are already super tender, they don't need a lot of cooking time - this is more about the coating, so I keep on standing close to my pot, watching the flour turn golden brown and then I snatch my chips with a ladle and let them get rid of access oil on some paper towel. If you wish, you can sprinkle some extra salt on top of the hot chips as soon as they get out of the pot! 

5. Continue throwing a few chips in the pot and continue until every chip is beautifully fried. 

6. While all the chips are cooling down, get your dipping situation ready. Since I only had yogurt left in my fridge, I decided to mix some yogurt with lemon juice and cumin. Feel free to choose a dip of your choice - anything that is light and fresh to not steal the show from the artichoke. A chili sauce is ok, too. 


Ready to dive in? Dip, dip, and crunch, crunch. This is my favorite sound. I guess we all love fried things and who would have thought that my first contact with artichokes would be through frying its leaves? I know it's a lazy excuse to get to know this beautiful creation, but once you had these chips, you will not go back to boring potato chips. 


These tender and silky artichoke chips will rock your world! Make them as a snack or prepare them as a side to a steak, throw them over a salad, or whatever you love to enjoy! I bet there are many opportunities to enjoy these! 


*Have you spotted one special thing in the picture above? My very secret tip, don't tell anyone: when preparing a dip, just like this "boring" yogurt dip, I love to drizzle some of Trader Joe's yuzu hot sauce on top. THIS!!! is everything...


Tell me about your artichoke experience. Have you tried to cook it yet? 

Down to try these chips? Enjoy!


*Boys and girls, write down the new vocabulary you have learned today: Artischoke — artichoke. 


GERMAN LESSON #97