We have had some time to mentally and physically digest our recent exploration with artichokes. The flavors were tasty and reflected the Chartreuse. The aesthetic pretty good. The only hitch was that I was determined to pressure cook the artichokes. The artichokes turned out to be just alright. As I pondered, examined, and studied the dish I realized that a fascination with a cooking technique had handicapped the dish. That and I did not follow my typed notes, yet again.
My notes work because they are often a refined compilation of spontaneous thoughts. They do not reflect my current thoughts. Ideas are most often scribbled on post-it notes. These scratchings rest on surfaces, are gathered in piles, and are collected over time. When the pile is daunting I sit down and type up the notes. Once the notes are typed, I let them rest a bit longer and finally cull through these ideas to generate what I consider to be my polished thoughts, dishes I want to take further, ideas worth delving deeper into. Not all ideas go through this process. Many go from thought to execution. Yet, when I take the time to go through this process the end results deserve the respect of being followed, rather than allowing my spontaneity to drive things off course.
I allowed a momentary whim to dictate the path we took with the artichokes, their preparation, and presentation. Since then, I have gone back and begun again. We re-examined the flavor of Chartreuse and the use of the pressure cooker. It turns out that we can mimic the flavors of Chartreuse, toning down the alcohol level and sweetness, while also using and then eliminating the pressure cooker. We made a Chartreuse inspired micro-stock in the pressure cooker and then simmered the cleaned artichokes in this stock traditionally, on the stove top in a covered pot.
The rest of the dish will revert back to the typed notes, tasting, trying, and polishing as we go.