September 17, 2012

Artichoke Leaves with Creamy Chili Sauce and Shrimp

These artichoke appetizers were an all time favorite in college! They came from my roommate's Grandmother, and we made them quite often. At a recent wine and appetizer B-day celebration, I decided to give our guests a little blast from the past. I love artichokes, especially when paired with any kind of delicious dip or sauce (and you can't go wrong with something cream cheese based). 

1 whole artichoke
1/2 block of cream cheese (4 oz.)- use 1/3 less fat or fat free if you want
2 Tbsp chili sauce
About 30 small cooked shrimps

Boil about and inch or two of salted water in a pan large enough to hold the artichoke.

Cut off the stem of the artichoke so that it can stand upright, and trim the sharp tips off the leaves.

Place the artichoke, stem down, in the boiling water, reduce heat to simmer and put a lid on the pan. Let the artichoke boil for about 30 minutes, until the leaves are soft. 

While the artichoke is boiling, heat up the cream cheese until softened (or let it warm to room temperature). Add in the 2 Tablespoons of chili sauce. Taste the mixture, and add more chili sauce if you want.

Once the artichoke is cooked, set it aside for a few minutes to cool, so that you can pull the leaves off. Pull off the leaves and lay them out on a plate or platter. Put a small dollop of the cream cheese and chili sauce mixture at the end of the artichoke, and top with a small shrimp. (If you get jumbo shrimp, you can cut them into bite size pieces for each leaf).

It's as simple as that! A delicious and easy appetizer that will be a huge hit!