Artichokes!

Another new cookbook and another ingredient I haven’t had much experience cooking, artichokes!!  I love marinated artichokes from the jar so I was excited to make a recipe with the fresh form of the vegetable.  Also an element of this recipe was to make a mayonnaise, something I have had difficulties mastering, but I really want to master making.

The recipe came from the cookbook Nopi.

The recipe tagged was for fried baby artichokes with pink peppercorn aioli.  To start with I made the aioli (or a garlic mayo).

I took a clove of garlic, a sprig of time and olive oil and placed on a piece of aluminum foil.

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I wrapped the foil tightly and cooked for 20 minutes in a 400 degree F oven.  I let the garlic cool and discarded the thyme.  Then I put the garlic, an egg yolk, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl.

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Using my immersion blender I blended and then slowly added oil.  And guess what?!  I actually made a mayo!  So my trick for making mayo, USE an IMMERSION BLENDER!!!  To my garlic mayo (aioli) I added lightly crushed pink peppercorns.  Then I put the aioli in the refrigerator until I was ready to serve.

Onto the artichoke.

This is an artichoke
This is an artichoke

I first mixed cornstarch, all purpose flour, Chinese five spice, salt an pepper in a bowl.

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Next I pulled off the outer leaves of the artichoke and cut off the top.  I cut the artichoke in half and pulled out the “hairy choke” which are these silky strands at the top of the heart of the artichoke.

Left has the hairy choke removed, right does not yet
Left has the hairy choke removed, right does not yet

I then cut each half into 4 and set them in water with lemon to prevent from discoloring.  Artichokes start to turn brown, which  you can kind of see on the photo with above, when you cut them open.  I heated up some oil in my mini deep fryer, which  I do get a lot of use from.  Here’s the one I have:

Once the oil was hot I took the artichoke pieces from the water, dried them off a bit and rolled into the flour mixture.  Then I dropped them in the deep fryer.

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They cooked for a few minutes until they started to turn golden brown and then they were removed, put on a paper towel and kept warm.  I then popped a few stalks of parsley into the deep fryer and cooked for a minute.

The artichoke hearts were then served with the fried parsley, aioli and lemon wedges.

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The Verdict:  Quite honestly I think the plate looked a lot better than anything tasted.  The parsley was kind of gross, and I think it’s only purpose was to be pretty.  The artichoke hearts were ok but not worth the work I felt.  The star of the plate was definitely the aioli.  I ended up using the rest of the aioli with and mixed it with some crab meat for a yummy crab salad a few days later.  And yay me for mastering a mayo…thanks immersion blender!