This was the FIRST recipe I ever learned. I must have been about twelve. My parents and I went over to Maui every year growing up, (ahhh – the perks of being an airline kid). It was a tradition that during our first night in town, we would take our jet-lagged bellies over to Jameson’s at the Kapalua Resort.
No matter how tired we were, or how late our flight had arrived, we could always depend on satisfying our hunger at Jameson’s with JJ’s famous artichoke. Since that time, the Kapalua was taken over by Ritz Carlton and Jameson’s was replaced with a new restaurant. I miss the old school Jameson’s very much. But I remind myself that I will always have the artichoke. And nobody can take that away from me.
So here’s my artichoke story. JJ was a longtime employee at this restaurant, and rumor is he developed this masterpiece after a long day’s work, few ingredients to choose from, and severe hunger pains. In my version, he’s had a few Mai Tai’s as well, which boosted his creativity.
I would rave to the waitstaff about how much I loved the artichoke. One lucky night, they offered to take me back into the kitchen, to meet JJ, and watch him make an actual stuffed artichoke!! A childhood dream fulfilled. I sat in the kitchen, bewildered and amazed, as I watched him work his magic on our order. Then I was shuffled back to the table, where I anxiously awaited our artichoke. He even delivered it to us himself.
Last December, my husband and I went back to Maui with my dad. There we were, at one of the new restaurants on the Kapalua property, when JJ himself came over to our table. I was ecstatic. I even got a picture with him. I tried to explain the effect his artichoke had on us. I hope he got it and didn’t think I was totally nuts.
I’m not promising healthy eating here, people. But I can guarantee that each bite of this treat will send you right up to pig heaven on a first class ticket. Yum.
1 artichoke, stemmed and leaves trimmed
Marie’s Creamy Italian Dressing
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Turn oven to 350 degrees. Chop up baguette into bite size pieces, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown and crunchy looking.
Meanwhile, prepare a large pot of water and set over high heat to boil.
Cut the stem off the artichoke.
Trim the sharp points of the leaves off. Trim the top part of the artichoke off, using a knife.
Now, line an ovenproof dish with aluminum foil. Make a circle large enough for the artichoke to rest in it.
Once water is boiling, drop artichoke in and cover with a lid. Steam for about 20 minutes. Drain waiter from artichoke.
Put artichoke in foil bed, and stuff leaves with croutons. Put a few pieces of butter in leaves. Drizzle Creamy Italian dressing all over artichoke. Make sure to get it in leaves. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
Bake, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.