18 October 2007

Ramen Remix #2: Don’t Try This at Home

Ah, artichokes, they seemed like such a good idea at the time. They called out to me from the salad bar, canning oil glistening over a yellow-green mound. Despite this frankly unappetizing form, I knew that I loved cooked artichoke and artichoke dip, so I wanted to see what I could do in the toaster oven with what is essentially a perennial thistle. A little olive oil, garlic, and maybe some Caesar dressing, I thought, ought to do the trick. I should have done more research first.

On the Food Network's website, Cathy Lowe's Caesar dressing; calls for (among other things): 6 cloves of garlic, Dijon mustard, vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, and anchovies.

Bleugh! Vinegar plus vinegar equals indigestion. I knew that Caesar dressing was salty and tangy, but I hadn't really thought about what was in it when I filled up my take-out cup. I didn't help matters by saturating the artichokes (already suspended in oil and vinegar) in an olive oil, dressing, and garlic marinade. Broiling the whole mess was the icing on the indigestible cake. Made the kitchen "spicy" as my suitemate put it, wiping the tears from her eyes.

The resultant salad-like concoction was equally "spicy," and is currently roiling about in my stomach. I'm including the recipe here with notes as to how I put the nails in my cuisine coffin, but don't try this at home!

Caesar Artichoke Ramen Salad

Things you can appropriate from the dining hall:

1 cup canned artichokes (mistake #1 – if something stays well stocked for any length of time at WCDS, that's a pretty good sign that it's not fit for consumption)

1 cup cherry tomatoes

½ cup baby corn

2 cooked chicken breasts

1 cup creamy Caesar dressing (mistake #2 – should not be used as a marinade or in conjunction with something as heavy as artichokes)

¼ cup Feta cheese

Things you will probably have to buy:

2 packages ramen

5 cloves garlic (mistake #3 – garlic overload)

½ cup olive oil

1. Whip up a marinade out of 3 cloves of garlic, the olive oil, and three tablespoons Caesar dressing. Saturate the artichokes in this mixture for 30 minutes.

Caesar dressing a marinade does not make. If the dressing already had both oil and (6 cloves of) garlic already, just how potent was this stuff? Garlic count: 9 cloves.

2. Meanwhile broil the tomatoes at 350O F for 15-20 minutes until the skins blister and pop.

This was step was actually rewarding. Kind of like popping popcorn, except with more juices (and therefore more mess later). On their own, my blistered, half-skinned tomatoes are mouth-wateringly good. Too bad I had to fiddle around with artichokes, too.

3. Fill two bowls each with a package of ramen and enough water to completely cover it. Cover and microwave on high for three minutes. Let stand (still covered) for an additional three minutes to get cooked ramen without boiling any water.

A reliable ramen cooking method. If you don't have a portable electric burner, don't let that limit you to no pasta! In a pinch, even a coffee maker can be used to heat the ramen water.

4. Broil the marinated artichokes for 20 minutes still at 350O F.

Wrong on so many levels.

5. Mix everthing together with two additional garlic cloves added into the dressing and drizzled on top of the lot.

A recipe for a long and sleepless night. Garlic count: 11 cloves. 11!

Enjoy at your own risk.


AJ Star said...

oh man i am so sorry this didn't work out. those tomatoes looked beautiful...i'm so sorry about the artichokes. thanks for the warning.

Emma said...

What an awesome shot of the tomatoes!