Thanks so much, Shari for posting this -- you're breathing new life into my steamer. Going to do these tonight.I plan to use it for steamed artichokes. Our family loves them, but trying to fit 5 in a small steamer basket (especially when they are in season and huge) is a challenge. Preparing artichokes is really easy. You just
cut the stem and discard, making sure the bottom of each artichoke is flat. Then cut the top 1 inch or so of the artichoke and discard. Snip the thorny ends from each artichoke leaf with a pair of Kitchen Shears.
To steam them, fill the 12" skillet with a couple of inches of water. Place a steamer basket in the pan, making sure that the water does not flow over the bottom of the steamer basket. Place the artichokes in the basket, resting on the flattened bottoms. Bring water to a boil, cover the pot, and cook until the leaves can be easily pulled from the artichoke, 20 to 30 minutes.
Some recipes will say to put lemon in the water, but I've found that keeps the artichokes from cooking as fast. I don't know why. We dip the leaves in melted butter with some crushed garlic or garlic powder added to it as we eat them. You can only eat a little bit of the outer leaves. You can eat more of the inner ones. Once you get to the choke, you carefully scoop out all the hairy bits and then you can eat the heart with more butter and garlic. Here's a step-by-step if you've never eaten one before:
The pictures are especially helpful although the one that shows the heart still has some hairy choke bits that need to be cleaned off before it can be eaten. You can scrape those out with a spoon.
Shari in TX