Grilled Artichokes Stuffed with Serrano Cilantro Aioli

This chile pepper gets its name from its origin. In Spanish, serrano is an adjective meaning “from the mountains” which is where it originated-in the mountains of Hildalgo, Mexico. The serrano is normally about twice as hot as Jalapeno (about 10,000 to 15,000 Scoville units). It is the second most popular chile pepper in Mexico. This chile is used mostly for salsas but can also be used in soups, sauces, chili or stews. Try these as a hotter substitute for Jalapeno.

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Ingredients:

4 small fresh artichokes
2 lemon slices

Cayenne Marinade:

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ground cayenne chile

Green Chile Cilantro Aioli:

1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. minced serrano chiles
1 tsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. cumin seeds

Instructions:

Cut the artichokes in half vertically and scoop out the center leaves and the “fur” of the choke. Immediately squeeze some lemon juice over the center and cut the leaves to keep the artichoke from discoloring. Poach the artichokes in boiling water until the leaves just start to come off easily.

Remove the artichokes and drain. Drizzle the marinade over the artichokes and marinate, covered for a couple of hours at room temperature.

Combine all the ingredients for the aioli and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or more to blend the flavors.

Grill the artichokes over a medium-low fire for 10 minutes or until the hearts are tender.

To serve, place the artichokes on individual plates and put a dollop of the aioli in the center of each artichoke. Serve with additional aioli on the side.

Yields 4-8 servings.

Recipe by Dave DeWitt and Nancy Gerlach.