- Juice of 2 lemons
- 4 large artichokes
- 4 strips thick bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
- Several sprigs fresh thyme
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 dozen little neck clams, as small as possible and scrubbed
- 1 1/2 pounds white fish, halibut is a nice choice. cut into large chunks
Fill a large bowl with cold water and add lemon juice and lemon shells. Using a sharp knife, halve the artichokes crosswise. Discard top portion. Working with one artichoke at a time, pull off the tough outer green leaves until you reach the tender center. Scrape out the hairy choke with a paring knife or sharp melon baller. Trim and peel the base and stem. Quarter hearts and add to water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.
Set a heavy bottomed pot over low heat. Add bacon and cook until fat is rendered and bacon crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon and set aside. Add olive oil, onions and garlic and cook until translucent and fragrant, another few minutes. Add carrots, celery and several sprigs of thyme. Continue cooking a few more minutes just to concentrate flavors. Season well with salt and pepper (remember that bacon can be quite salty). Stir often to prevent vegetables from taking on too much color. Add white wine and simmer until wine has reduced by 1/2.
Drain artichokes and add to pot. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer until artichokes are almost perfectly tender, about 30 minutes. Add clams and fish and simmer, covered, just until clams open and fish is cooked, about 6 minutes. Be careful not to overcook fish. Quickly re-crisp reserved bacon in a small skillet and add to return to pan. iAdjust seasoning with salt and pepper before serving.