They're mean. Sure, they taste good but those suckers are worse than crabs about making you work for the meat.
The Franklin family introduced me to this grilled artichoke recipe like the one here that they make at Houston's Restaurant. Try it if you dare. But don't say I didn't warn you.
I made the remolaude dipping sauce and set it in the fridge thinking about how good this was going to be and how this was going to impress my friend Liz and her mother when they came over for an appetizer and one of my husband's famous margaritas. Then I set to work on prepping the artichokes. I had sort of read up online about how to prep them and the recipe I was following had vague instructions but I spend a lot of time in the kitchen so I was not intimidated by them. But I should have been. Those things tore my hands to shreds. So, being that I have the smallest amount of patience of anyone on the planet (save for my father), I got pissed and threw them away.
But since we were having company, I had to come up with a new appetizer. We had planned to make my husband's favorite rattlesnake eggs and take them to our friend Lane and Brandon's housewarming supper on Sunday night but I had to go ahead and dip into that plan since I was under a time crunch. Rattlesnake eggs are similar to jalapeno poppers - they're stuffed with cream cheese. But instead of deep frying them, you wrap them in bacon and grill them. They're good.
I set about prepping the jalapenos while my husband finished up his round of golf. I cut off each of the tops and stuck my finger in the jalapeno to clear out the seeds and the membrane so they wouldn't be too hot. This was going swimmingly until about the fifth jalapeno in when my fingers started burning uncontrollably. It took me a minute to realize that this was because my fingers were covered in itty bitty knicks from the #@&! artichokes.
As if that wasn't enough, all of I sudden I started choking from the heat that was emitting from the sink from the pulps of these peppers. It got in my eyes and up my nose and I couldn't stop coughing. I called my husband to tell him about the horror of it and he simply couldn't understand and said he'd take care of finishing the appetizer when he got home. I must have washed my hands 85 times trying to get the jalapeno juice off and trying to stop my hands from stinging but somehow at this point my lips and face were also burning because I guess I touched it.
No, the saga does not continue. But, if you're still reading at this point, it is a miracle.
My husband finally gets home and goes about finishing prepping the rattlesnake eggs. Shortly after he finishes removing the remainder of the membrane (he informed me that I did not do it properly), he starts choking from the heat of the peppers in the air. He finally gets them stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and on the grill. But, he did have some more sympathy and quit telling me that I was acting crazy about the burning sensation on my hands and face and in my throat.
We grilled 'em up and Liz and Penny arrived to have their margarita and rattlesnake eggs (wow, it sounds like such a great thing to invite people over for). The app was actually a pretty big success and tasted yummy. But then those pesky jalapenos reared their ugly heads again. Poor little pup got wind of some jalapeno juice (or maybe he licked somebody's mess up off the deck) but his throat closed up and he started wheezing and couldn't breathe. My husband is perhaps a leeetle overprotective of that dog because he's worried that I'll have some kind of mental breakdown if something happens to him. So he starts running around like a chicken with his head cut off screaming that we have to go to the emergency vet. Thankfully the dog quit choking and we got him calmed down. For about ten minutes. At which point, after all of the excitement, Liz and her mother had politely excused themselves and went on to dinner. The second attack the dog had prompted my husband to throw us both in the car and drive us to the emergency vet. We made it to the vet only to turn around because the dog was fine and I didn't want to toss away $500 plus dollars for an emergency vet visit.
I'll quit going on about these jalapenos in one more second. Because clearly everything I've just outlined to you so far wasn't enough torture. Did you know that the juice of jalapenos can stay around for a while. It especially likes to get under your fingernails. I didn't know that. But I will always remember it now after I got up the next morning and put my first contact onto my eyeball. It gave new meaning to great balls of fire....ow!!!!!!!!
No more artichokes for jalapenos for me in the near future. But, I still blame the artichoke.