Artichokes Deep-Fried with Pepper-Jack Surprise

YIELD

8 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 32 Boggiatto® Baby Artichokes
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 tbsps salt
  • 9 ozs pepper Jack cheese, grated (2 cups)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups fine, fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil (for frying)

DIPPING SAUCE

  • 2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp dried red chile peppers
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Remove and discard artichoke stems. Cut 1/2 inch from the top of each artichoke with a serrated knife. Bend back outer leaves until they snap off close to the base and discard. Continue removing layers of artichoke leaves until you reach the pale yellow leaves with pale green tips; cut off the green tips.
  2. Cut lemons in half, squeeze juice from one lemon into a large bowl of cold water, and drop the remaining two halves into the water.
  3. Trim dark green fibrous material from the base and sides of the artichokes with a sharp paring knife and drop the trimmed artichokes into the lemon water.
  4. Fill large pot 3/4 full with water. Whisk in flour, olive oil, salt, and remaining two lemon halves, squeezing the juice into the water first, and bring to a simmer.
  5. Remove the trimmed artichokes from the lemon water and drop them into the pot. Simmer, partially covered, until tender when pierced with a paring knife. Drain and invert them onto paper towels to drain thoroughly. Pat dry and let cool.
  6. Make the dipping sauce by combining all the listed ingredients and chill.
  7. When artichokes are cool enough to handle, pull out all of the pointed inner leaves and scoop out the fuzzy choke.
  8. Stuff each artichoke with 2 packed teaspoons of the grated pepper Jack cheese, pressing leaves around cheese. (Note: Artichokes may be stuffed, but not coated, one day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before frying.)
  9. Heat 3 inches of oil in a 4-quart, heavy pot over moderate heat until thermometer registers 350 degrees F.
  10. While oil is heating, break the eggs into a blender and puree. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper and place in a large mixing bowl.
  11. Spread breadcrumbs on a cookie sheet. Coat artichoke with egg mixture, letting the excess drip off; then roll in crumbs and transfer to a tray.
  12. Fry artichokes in batches (reheating oil to 350 degrees F between batches) until golden brown (about 2 minutes). Transfer fried artichokes to paper towels, allowing them to drain and let rest for 5 minutes.
  13. Cut the fried artichokes in half and place them on the serving platter. Serve with the dipping sauce on the side.

Chef Beat Giger

Recipe by:

CEC, AAC, Corporate Chef Pebble Beach Resorts; Pebble Beach, CA

Chef's comment:

"Fresh Boggiatto® artichokes, fried and filled with pepper Jack cheese, add a twist to a traditional favorite that is sure to be a hit with your guests."