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Grilled Artichokes Stuffed with Goat Cheese, "Italian BBQ" Poricini Rub and Grilled Mozzarella with Lemon Leaves

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Grilled Artichokes Stuffed with Goat Cheese
Serves 4
      
large globe artichokes    4 each
lemons, cut in half    3 each
garlic, sliced    1/4 cup
fresh herbs such as mint, oregano, or parsley    1 cup
white wine    1 cup
extra virgin olive oil    1 cup
kosher salt    1/4 cup     
goat cheese    8 oz
red wine and mint vinaigrette    1 cup     
    
Prepare the artichokes by pulling off the small tough outer leaves near the stem
Cut the top inch or so off of the top of the artichoke    
With kitchen shears, snip the pointy tips off of any remaining leaves
Rub all cut surfaces with a lemon cut in half    
Next, peel the tough outer part of the stem, leaving the tender inner core in tact
Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise and, with a spoon, remove the "choke"
Place prepared artichoke in a pot of water with the remaining lemons and their juice
Continue with the rest of the artichokes    
Add the garlic, herbs, white wine, olive oil, and salt to the pot    
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender, about 30-40 minutes
Remove artichohes and drain well    
  
Prepare a hot grill, and grill artichokes, cut side down, until a nice char forms
Turn the artichoke over and stuff the inside with goat cheese    
Close the lid on the grill, and cook for another 3 minutes    
Remove to a plate and drizzle with vinaigrette    


"Italian BBQ" Porcini Rub
porcini powder    1/2 cup        
sugar    4 Tbsp        
kosher salt    2 Tbsp        
red pepper flakes    2 Tbsp        
black pepper, ground    2 Tbsp        
fresh rosemary, chopped    2 Tbsp        
extra virgin olive oil    1/2 cup        
              
Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl until well combined            
Rub on any meat or even fresh tuna about 30 minutes before you cook them on the grill to your liking
Pay close attention as the sugar in the rub will easily caramelize            
Spread a little more rub on the meat as it is cooking to build layers of flavorful char        
Let meat rest 8-10 minutes before slicing


Grilled Mozzarella with Lemon Leaves
mozzarella di bufala, drained and sliced    12 oz    
young lemon leaves    about 24 each    
freshly ground black pepper    to taste    
extra virgin olive oil    to taste    
         
Sandwich the mozzarella slices between two lemon leaves on the top and two on the bottom
Place on a hot grill until leaves start to char        
Carefully flip the cheese and leaves over to the other side        
Grill on second side until charred and cheese is warm         
Remove to plate, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper    
Serve immediately with crusty bread        


Red Wine and Mint Vinaigrette   
red wine vinegar    1 cup        
shallots, minced    1/3 cup        
garlic, chopped    1 tbsp        
dried oregano    2 tsp        
fresh mint leaves, packed tightly    .5 cup        
Pecorino, grated    .5 cup        
Parmesan, grated    3 tbsp        
olive/ canola oil blend    2 cup        
sugar    1 tsp        
salt and pepper    to taste        
            
Place all ingredients, except oil,  in a blender            
Blend until smooth            
With the blender running, slowly drizzle oil in, and blend another 10 seconds    
Season with salt and pepper            
Taste, and adjust seasoning to your liking.  If too tart, add a bit more oil and blend again
Store in a container with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator for no more than 1 week
            
    

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