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Jerusalem Artichoke Recipe

Jerusalem Artichoke Recipe: Creamy Artichoke Stew with Milk

History: Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchokes, are native to North America and were an important food source for Native Americans. The name "Jerusalem" is believed to have been a corruption of the Italian word "girasole," which means "sunflower." Jerusalem artichokes are actually the tuberous roots of a species of sunflower, and they have a sweet, nutty flavor that is reminiscent of artichokes. Today, they are enjoyed in various recipes around the world, including this creamy artichoke stew.

Fun Facts: Did you know that Jerusalem artichokes are not artichokes at all? Despite their name, they are not related to the thistle-like vegetable we commonly refer to as artichokes. Jerusalem artichokes are actually part of the sunflower family and are prized for their deliciously earthy and slightly sweet taste. They are also highly nutritious, being a rich source of fiber, potassium, and iron. In addition to their culinary uses, Jerusalem artichokes have also been used in folk medicine for their potential health benefits.

Now, let's dive into our delightful Jerusalem artichoke recipe:

Ingredients:
- 1 pound Jerusalem artichokes, washed and peeled
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 level tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 generous pint of milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:
1. Cut the washed and peeled Jerusalem artichokes into cubes.
2. In a stew-pan, combine the artichoke cubes, chopped onion, and enough milk to cover the ingredients (approximately a generous pint to a quart).
3. Cook the mixture over medium heat for twenty minutes until the artichoke cubes become tender.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the butter and flour to form a smooth paste.
5. Gradually stir the butter-flour mixture into the boiling milk and artichoke mixture.
6. Add salt and black pepper to season the stew.
7. Continue cooking the stew for an additional half hour, stirring occasionally, until it thickens to a creamy consistency.
8. Ideally, use a double boiler for cooking to prevent scorching or burning the milk.

Note: If the stew becomes too thick, you can add more milk to adjust the consistency according to your preference.

Serve the creamy Jerusalem artichoke stew hot, either as a standalone dish or as a side with roasted or grilled meats. The creamy texture and nutty flavor of the artichokes complement a wide range of flavors.

Alternative Serving Ideas:
- Soup: Blend the cooked artichoke cubes and milk mixture until smooth to create a velvety Jerusalem artichoke soup. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh herbs or a drizzle of olive oil for added richness.
- French Artichokes with Tomato Sauce: For a different twist, you can try the French-style preparation. Trim the outer tough petals of the Jerusalem artichokes and scoop out the fuzzy centers. Cut each artichoke in half and wash them thoroughly. Drain the artichokes and fry them in olive oil until browned on each side. Prepare a tomato sauce and cook the fried artichokes in the sauce for around thirty minutes. The tomato sauce adds a tangy and savory element to the dish, creating a delightful combination of flavors.

Jerusalem artichokes offer versatility in the kitchen, and these two recipes showcase different ways to enjoy this delicious vegetable. They can be an excellent addition to your fall and spring meals when they are in season.

Explore the unique flavors and textures of Jerusalem artichokes and discover their versatility in various recipes. Whether you choose to make a creamy stew or a tangy tomato sauce, these dishes will surely please your taste buds and impress your guests with their distinct taste and surprising resemblance to true artichokes.

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