venerdì 16 aprile 2010

(Jewish style fried artichokes)

Ingredients (4 portions):

4 big "romanesco" artichokes;
1 litre extra virgin olive oil , some salt.

Preparations (about 1 hour):

First cut the artichokes about 15cm long (including the stem) and remove only the external leaves of each artichoke (it is usually enough to remove the first two layers only). slice the pointy extremities of the artichokes while holding them tight with your free hand , slighty open the artichokes starting from the centre and remove the hair from the core using the knife and/or a small spoon.
Peel the artichoke's stem, removing the external fibres only - in this case there's no need to wash the artichokes (treat them like precious mushrooms...).

Pour the extra virgin olive oil in a 20cm steel pot (the pot has to be about 15cm tall) and put the pot on high heat.

Allow the oil to reach the right temperature (about 200°C) and plunge the artichokes in the hot oil (take always care).

Let the artichokes fry for about 15-20 minutes - if the fork easily enters into the stem (use it as an indicator) the artichokes are done.
Remove the artichokes from the oil, let them drain and cool down a little - keep however the oil warm.

Once the artichokes are cool enough, open them with caution (they should be relatively soft) and try to shape them like a large and flat flower.
Allow the oil to reach the frying temperature and plunge again the artichokes (one by one) in the hot oil trying to keep the leaves submerged.
After a few minutes, the artichoke will look like an open flower, the colour of the leaves will uniformly turn to light brown and the whole artichoke will look (and taste) very, very, very crispy.

Drain on paper, serve extremely hot and enjoy.....

3 commenti:

  1. Fabrice Raspo1 maggio 2010 01:50

    A quotation of French Comedian Michel Colucci, aka Coluche, (1944-1986):
    "Artichoke truly is the poor people food par excellence: It is the only dish such that there is more on your plate once you are done eating it than as you started."

  2. Fabrice Raspo1 maggio 2010 01:55

    The Italian-rooted Provence cuisine quarters the young artichokes before frying them, and adds some lemon juice and thyme at the end. Worth trying too!

  3. Fabrice Raspo1 maggio 2010 02:50

    Two further points:

    - Artichoke and Cardoon ("Cardi") are parts of the same plant (Cynara Scolymus resp. Cardunculus). Both parts are quite thorny, the Cardoon (=leaves) must usually be blanched before use, unlike the Artichoke (=flower).

    "Cynar" is the name of a bitter aperitif liqueur born in the 50's and based amongst other plants on Artichoke decoction.