Carciofi alla Giudi (Deep fried artichokes)

So we tried something a little different: Carciofi alla Giudi, or deep fried artichokes, Jewish style. Cleaned and trimmed six chokes (first time I ever did this and it's a bitch of a job), soaked them in acidulated water; prepared a pot half full of oil and water, and simmered the chokes for fourteen minutes. Took em out, drained them in paper towels; when they've cooled, their soft yellow inner leaves easy to spread out, like the unopened buds they really are. Heat two inches of olive oil in a medium pan; deep-fry the opened chokes in the oil, pressed down so they stay opened up. Eight minutes of this, then take out, drain, and sprinkle with salt (kosher, what else?) while still hot.

The result are crispy gold blossoms, salty and surprisingly satisfying. By way of side dish (I know, they're appetizers, but after wrestling with six chokes I wasn't in the mood to cook anything more), I just heated a loaf of bread and dipped it in the chokes' cooking oil with a bit of salt.

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