|Salt to taste|
|Freshly ground black pepper|
|1 cup||Plain bread crumbs, spread over aluminum foil|
|Vegetable oil; for frying|
Cut off half of each artichoke stems. Remove and discard all outer green leaves until you reach the white central cone. At this point, you will see that three-quarters of the leaves are white and the tip of the cone is pale green. Slice off the green top.
With a small knife, trim off the outer green part of each artichoke's green bottom.
Gently open each artichoke with your hands and remove the fuzzy choke with a spoon or melon scooper. Rub the lemon over the cut edges of the artichokes and season them inside with salt and pepper. Gently open the artichoke leaves as far as they can go without breaking them off, and holding the artichokes by their stems, press the open leaves into the gread crumbs to coat lightly.
Heat two inches of oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat to 250F to 257F. Lower the artichokes into the oil and cook about 10 minutes. Turn the artichokes a few times to they will fry evenly.
Lower the heat if the artichokes turn golden too fast. With a thin knife, prick thier bottoms to test for doneness. They are done when they can be easily pierced. Transfer the artichokes to peper towels to drain. (The artichokes can be prepared up to this point severl hours ahead.)
Just before you are ready to serve them, pour two inches of oil in another medium-size sacuepan over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot, but not smoking, about 375F, carefully add one artichoke.
With two long wooden spoons, or a long tong, hold the artichoke open-face down, pressing the leaves gently against the bottom of the pan to open them further. Hold the artichoke in that position for about 30 seconds. Transfer the artichoke to peper towels to drain.
Repeat with the other artichokes. The second frying should take no longer than 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle them lightly with salt and serve hot.
From: Trattoria Cooking
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