Kung Food: Dip-jitsu (The Artichoke Way)

Garlic? Yes.


Olive Oil? Ah... now you are learning...


Artichoke Hearts? "Wa-sah!"


Clearly, my white crane cooking is no longer a match for your stand-up game.


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You have learned well. Now, you are ready to defend yourself, feed others, and present at the table in the Most High Hall at the Temple Palace. You prepare a rich appetizer dip with skill, and well-synched voice-over. There is nothing more I can teach you. Prepare to enter the Octagon on your own.


In case you forget, I have calligraphied this recipe on rice paper. Guard it well. It contains the secret of the lotus and will never fail you, at dinner tables near or afar:


1 12-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained (Prepare them fresh? For 4th degree culinary blackbelts only.)


1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic (A chance to demonstrate your knife skills.)


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (Handle this delicate flower well; a true ninja knows the gentle side of cooking.) (1/3 cup if you are feeling saucy).


1/2 teaspoon minced fresh oregano


1/2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley


1/2 teaspon minced fresh basil (Gather these herbs from the temple gardens. Use the dry ones Basho set aside from last season's harvest if you must.)


1/4 teaspoon salt (More to taste, but remember Grasshopper, too much salt can lead to high blood pressure- and a ninja must remain nimble on their feet.)


Combine all ingredients in whirling blade food processor. Use samurai sword to dice finely if you must. When reduced to the consistency of a vanquished foe, cease your chopping. Deftly manuever chip or other dipping weapon into lovely porcelain bowl filled with artichoke-dip. Imbibe, allowing the great channels and meridians to be nourished by sensual food-stuff. Feed your enemies and your friends at the same table.


Merge into all-of-existence, knowing the thousand-and-one-things play on the mind and the tongue.


Ian Finn is a third-degree blackbelt in kung-food.


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food-coloring painted fondant cakes by the author

Enter the Dragon.

So you want to be a culinary ninja?

Ah, Little-san, then you must learn, "The Art of the Appetizer."

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