I had an amazing time in Tahoe. I got a chance to meet KJ’s family who are warm and welcoming and lovely. The lake was gorgeous and, since I was staying with fellow foodies, the food was amazing.
While I was in Tahoe, I got a little rebellious. Maybe it was just the freedom of being on vacation. Perhaps I have gotten spoiled by living in Oregon for 3 years now and the great stretches of beaches, forest, and park. All of Tahoe’s No Trespassing signs may have come as a bit of a shock to my system.
Whatever the cause, I was feeling a bit rebellious on the night that we made dinner as a group. I broke two of my cardinal cooking rules. 1) Never cook something new for guests. 2) Let the product shine.
I made Stuffed Artichoke with Homemade Aioli. I had never cooked an artichoke and never mind made a homemade aioli. Steaming an artichoke is fairly simple as is making homemade aioli. The results are spectacular – an amazing, buttery vegetable served with garlicky, rich aioli. I would highly recommend it.
All that said – don’t stuff it. No seriously. It sounds like a good idea- stuffing always makes things more delicious, right? Nope! It covered up the artichoke flavor and the stuffing was a weird, gummy texture. We ate around it so the dish was still tasty.
Which leads me back to my rules- 1) Let the product shine. 2) Never cook something new for guests. After the weekend in Tahoe, I am revising my rules. 1) Let the product shine – always, always, always – no excuses. 2) Only cook something new for guests if they are warm and welcoming and kind and willing to eat around the flops. KJs family really are lovely people.
There was something really satisfying about making my own aioli. Kind of like a foodie merit badge? It was work in the form of a whole lot of whisking. Ultimately, not too much work though and it came together successfully on my first try.
So this weekend, steam an artichoke, whisk up some homemade aioli, and crack a bottle of very dry wine and enjoy your foodie cred