Anginares Yemistes (Stuffed Artichokes)

Course : Greek
Serves: 6-8
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15 large tender artichokes
3 Tablespoons butter
2 pound chopped meat
2 medium onions, minced
1 Tablespoons tomato paste diluted w/ 1 1/2 c. of water
1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated kefalotiri cheese
1 recipe Bechamel sauce
2 medium zwieback crushed or bread crumbs as needed
2 Tablespoons melted butter as needed.
2 medium lemons

Preparation / Directions:

Cut the stems from the artichokes so they can stand up. Peel off any bruised outer leaves ; cut the tips off the remaining leaves. Scoop out each 'choke leaving a small whole in the center. Rub the cut portions with lemon. Boil the artichokes in salted water until tender but not too soft (about 35-40 minutes). Drain well and place on a platter. To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a pot; add the meat and the onions . Stir to break up meat ; brown well.Add the tomato paste and salt and pepper. Simmer until all the juices are absorbed (about 30 minutes). Fill the artichokes and place in a buttered pan, and pour the bechamel sauce over them (allowing about 1 tbls. of sauce for each filled 'choke). Sprinkle with the cheese and the breadcrumbs. Brush with melted butter ; bake for 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

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