I love scooping these addictive morsels up with a really hot English mustard alloili, with a beer or two between dips!
- 8–10 small artichokes, hard outer leaves removed
- fine sea salt
- 1 lemon, halved
- 150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 90 g (3 oz/½ cup) potato or rice flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) ice-cold lager
- 1 free-range egg
- 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) vegetable oil
- sea salt flakes
- unpitted black olives, to serve
- 2 garlic cloves
- 80 g (2½ oz) good-quality egg mayonnaise
- 2 tsp hot English mustard
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Trim the artichoke stalks, leaving 2 cm (¾ in) of stalk attached. Peel the outer layer of the stalks with a vegetable peeler.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and season well with salt. Add the trimmed artichokes and one lemon half squeezed in, and blanch for 6–8 minutes, until the artichokes are just under-cooked and still a little firm. Remove from the pan and pat dry with a clean tea towel, squeezing out as much moisture as possible. Discard the lemon.
- Cut the artichokes in half and remove the fibrous choke, then cut into 5-mm (¼-in) thick slices.
- Combine half the plain flour, the potato or rice flour, baking powder and ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt in a large bowl. Slowly pour in the beer, whisking continuously to avoid any lumps, then beat in the egg until the batter has a thick, cream consistency.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan to 180°C (350°F) on a kitchen thermometer.
- Meanwhile, make the mustard allioli. In a small bowl, finely grate the garlic into the mayonnaise and stir through the mustard. Set aside.
- Dust the artichoke slices with the remaining plain flour, then dip in the batter to coat. Working in batches, fry the artichoke for 2–3 minutes, until golden, then transfer to a tray lined with paper towel and sprinkle with salt flakes before the excess oil dries off. Serve the artichoke chips with the mustard allioli and a few olives on the side.
Recipes and images from Islas: Food of the Spanish Islands by Emma Warren, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99