pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
Trim them and use a mellon baller to take out the chokes. If you don't have a fryolator use a deep cast iron pot. You'll need a candy thermometer to heat your oil to 375F. I use peanut oil but you can also use canola oil. Buy a Chinese style "spider" (they are cheap) to get them in the oil and then get them out. Condiments are up to you.
Thank you...I think I poached them. I'll try your method!
Baby artichokes don't have a tough choke (as the larger ones do); the choke doesn't need to be removed. Just the tough outer leaves and the tops. Slice them in half or quarters and fry in oil. I like to shallow fry them (rather than deep fry) in regular olive oil (not extra virgin - low smoke point) along with a few cloves of garlic and thyme (for flavor). Remember to salt them as soon as they are done frying (like fries). I like them with just black pepper, pecorino and lemon juice (or red wine vinegar).
I love the idea of a little grated pecorino and salt and pepper
If you want them crispy, try coating the baby artichokes in flour with some cornstarch, shake off excess and fry making sure your oil remains super hot while working in batches.
I've also had good luck with pan frying, keeping the oil very hot, as sexyLambChops suggest. A sprinkle of coarse sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Hard to top. (Frying some thin lemon slices to serve with them is also a treat.)
Nancy is a food writer, historian, and author of many books, her most recent being The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook. She also raises olives and makes oil in Tuscany, providing firsthand experience for her forthcoming book about olive oil.
Ummm, extra-virgin olive oil does not have a low smoke point and is perfectly safe to use even above 400º (which is way too hot for frying artichokes). 375º is a good temp, but try the old chef technique for frying potatoes--fry them first at around 325º, then remove, raise the heat to 375º and fry again, briefly, to make them crisp. Also a light dusting with flour or cornstarch before the first frying is a good idea. In Rome they don't remove the critters from the first fry but rather flick a few drops of water into the hot oil--it raises the heat, they say, and makes them crisp. But be very careful--a few drops but not a couple of spoonsful.
I don't think twice fried is necessary in this case; double frying french fries is done to get rid of excess water (in the first fry) and to allow the oil permeate the starchy potatoes. Artichokes don't have as much water content or starch as potatoes. Frying them twice would make them tough and chewy.
And yes, you're right about the smoke point of extra-virgin olive oil; but at 400 (even 375) degrees, the oil will be nearly burning and taste very bitter. Plus it's a waste of good oil; the flavor is lost when it is heated at such high temperatures. I prefer a neutral flavored oil anyway when frying (peanut, safflower, canola, etc.).
Lindsay-Jean is a Contributing Writer & Editor at Food52.
There's a recipe for fried baby artichokes on the site that was a contest finalist! http://food52.com/recipes...
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