Aromatic Poaching broth
1600 grams water
470 grams sliced fennel
450 grams green grapes
320 grams unripe Bosc pear sliced off the core
305 grams celery chopped
260 grams green apple sliced off the core
110 grams lemon juice
10 grams salt
1 gram whole allspice
Place all the ingredients in a pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for twenty minutes and let cool naturally. When the pressure is released allow the mixture to rest another twenty minutes, then strain out the solids and chill the liquid. Reserve the poaching for cooking the artichokes.
1770 grams aromatic poaching broth
8 medium sized artichokes
Put the aromatic poaching liquid in a pot large enough to accommodate the broth and the artichokes. Remove the first two layers of artichoke leaves from each artichoke. Trim the top of the artichoke leaves toward the heart so that 4 cm of leaves are still attached to the artichoke heart and stem. Use a vegetable peeler to trim around the base of the artichoke until the tender heart flesh is just exposed. Remove more layers of the artichoke leaves if they interfere with the peeling of the artichoke heart. Use the peeler to remove the outer dark green skin of the artichoke heart and stem. Start at the edge of the artichoke heart and peel upwards toward the stem end. Peel in long uniform strokes, rotating the artichoke so that it is peeled evenly. When the coarse exterior skin is removed and the white interior flesh is free of fibers, trim the tip of the stem and place the artichoke in the aromatic broth. Turn the artichoke in the broth so that it is evenly coated in the liquid, which will help prevent it from oxidizing. Repeat with the other artichokes. Put the pot on a medium flame and place a lid on the pot. When the liquid comes up to a simmer, turn the heat down to low and cook the artichokes for thirty minutes or until the tip of a knife inserted into the heart of the artichoke penetrates with just a hint of resistance. Remove the artichokes from the heat and place them in a container so that they are covered in liquid. Let the artichokes cool naturally to room temperature, then place in the refrigerator to chill completely. Let the artichokes rest in their liquid for several hours.
Remove the artichokes from the liquid. The artichokes will have taken on a pinkish hue from the poaching liquid. Remove any coarse leaves from the artichoke and discard. Peel off the tender interior leaves and reserve for the artichoke yogurt. After removing the interior leaves, the heart of the artichoke will be exposed, full of the thistle inedible fibers known as the choke. Use a medium sized melon baller to gently remove these fibers. Lay the artichoke on a cutting board with the stem facing to the left. Use a sharp knife to cut the top of the artichoke straight and flat. This cutting will remove only a small fraction of the artichoke. Stand the artichoke upright so that the stem stands tall. Use a round metal cutter the size of the artichoke to trim the edges of the heart so that the heart is now perfectly round. You want to uses the largest cutter possible that will still cut the edges of the artichoke, it is usually 7 cm in diameter. When the artichoke is trimmed, place it back in the cold poaching liquid. Repeat the cleaning and trimming with the other seven artichokes. When all the artichokes are cleaned, take them out of the liquid, strain the liquid into a zip top bag and place the trimmed artichokes into the cleaned liquid. This will allow the artichokes to absorb more flavors and to be submerged in the cooking liquid so that they do not oxidize.
Whipped Crispy Artichokes
300 grams poached artichoke liquid
3.4 grams Methocel F50
0.51 grams xanthan gum
40 grams Maltrin M100
Place the artichoke liquid in the blender. Turn the speed onto low and then increase the speed until a vortex forms in the liquid. With the blender running, sprinkle the xanthan gum and Methocel into the vortex. Increase the speed to high in order to shear the hydrocolloids into the liquid. The mixture will take on a foamy appearance and there will be no particles or clumps in the liquid. Turn off the blender and pour the artichoke mixture into a metal bowl, which is sitting in an ice bath. Stir the mixture and chill it until it reaches 10°C. At this point the Methocel will be fully hydrated.
Pour the chilled artichoke mixture back into the blender and turn the speed to medium. Sprinkle in the Maltrin and then increase the speed to high to completely disperse the Maltrin into the mixture. Once the mixture is homogenous, pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the whisk attachment and begin to whip the mixture, increasing the speed from low to medium and eventually to high. The mixture will increase in volume and eventually take on the appearance of stiff peaked egg whites without any dryness. The mixture cannot be over whipped, though once it reaches stiff peaks and is light, airy and shapeable it is down whipping.
Line a half sized sheet pan with a silicone liner. Spray the liner with pan release and then use a paper towel to wipe the pan so that only a fine film remains on the silicone. Use a teaspoon to spoon dollops of the whipped artichoke foam onto the liner, leaving an inch or two between dollops. The whipped artichoke should have irregular peaks and shapes so that they look like miniature clouds. Once the pan is full of artichoke dollops, place the pan in a 76°C oven to dry out. Let the artichoke clouds dry in the oven for an hour. After an hour feel the crisps. If they still feel spongy, put them back in the oven to dry and continue to check every fifteen minutes. When the crisps feel firm and dry throughout, remove the pan from the oven. Release the crisps from the pan and turn them all onto one side, exposing their bottoms. Place the pan back in the oven and continue to dry the crisps for another twenty minutes. Take one of the crisps out of the oven and taste it. It should be completely dry throughout. If there is any moisture left in the center, put the tray back in the oven to continue drying. Continue to check and taste them in fifteen minute intervals until the crisps are dry. When the crisps are dry remove the tray from the oven and take the crisps off of the pan. Let them cool on a cooling rack and then put them immediately into a zip top bag with a silica gel pack to absorb any moisture. Seal the top of the bag and reserve the crisps.
200 grams reserved cooked inner artichoke leaves patted dry
250 grams whole milk yogurt
3 grams salt
Put the artichoke leaves, yogurt and salt in the blender. Puree the contents until they are smooth. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Dampen a piece of cheesecloth and fold it over so that it is four layers thick. Line a mesh strainer with the cheesecloth and put the strainer over a bowl so that is suspended over the bottom. Pour the artichoke yogurt into the cheesecloth lined strainer. Cover the strainer and bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and put the artichoke yogurt into the refrigerator to drain. Let the yogurt drain for twelve hours. After twelve hours, remove the artichoke yogurt from the cheesecloth and reserve it in a container in the refrigerator. The yogurt will have thickened to the consistency of pudding.
105 grams green Chartreuse
0.5 gram salt
Put the Chartreuse and salt in a small pot and place over a low heat. Cook the Chartreuse gently and reduce the liquid by just over two thirds. The final syrup should weigh thirty grams. In order to accurately weigh the syrup it helps to know the weight of the pot and then be able to weigh the reduced syrup in the pot as you get closer to the finished product. When the Chartreuse is reduced, strain it into a small squirt bottle. Any particles from the side of the pot will be removed during this straining process. Reserve the Chartreuse syrup in the refrigerator.
35 grams chives (1 bunch of chives)
Trim off the rough end from the base of the chives. Use a sharp knife to slice the chives into wheels, which are 1mm thick. Slice the length of the chives until you get close to the chive tips which may then be discarded as they cannot be sliced into uniform wheels, rather they appear like a small mince when cut.
Remove the artichokes from their poaching liquid. Drain them and pat them dry. Lay an artichoke with the heart at 12 o’clock and the stem pointing downwards and sweeping to the right, in the center of the plate. Use the side of a teaspoon to place a dollop of artichoke yogurt on the right hand side of the artichoke stem. Sprinkle a large pinch of chives on top of the artichoke yogurt. Take an artichoke crisp and place a small dollop of artichoke yogurt underneath it to act as glue. Place the crisp on the plate to the left of the artichoke stem. Place a large drop of Chartreuse syrup on the plate at one o’clock and two centimeters away from the artichoke heart. Place a smaller drop of Chartreuse syrup at 7 o’clock one cm away from the artichoke stem. Place one drop of artichoke syrup at the 5 o’clock position one cm away from the tip end of the artichoke stem. Fill one nook of the artichoke crisp with a few drops of the Chartreuse syrup.