Artichokes Jewish Style
12 Artichokes; medium, fresh
2 Lemons; juice and rinds
2 tb -salt
1 ts -pepper; freshly ground
3 c Olive oil
Carciofo All Guidia To quote the author, "This is the most famous of all
Italian Jewish foods. It originated with the Roman Jews, and owes its fame
to having been served at a restaurant in the Roman ghetto where it was
discovered and quickly adopted by connoisseurs of excellent food all over
Europe. Utimately it found its way into many Italian cookbooks, My mother,
a Jewish woman who was born and raised in Rome, prepared especially
delicious Carciofi all Guidia (better than you could find in any
restaurant!). I watched her prepare them, and have prepared them myself,
practically all my life. Here in my mother's technique in detail"
Trim the artichokes as detailed in "How to clean artichokes- Jewish style"
and keep them in lemon water till you are ready to use them. "Drain the two
artichokes and, holding one in each hand by the stem and bottom, gently hit
the leafy parts against each other until the leaves of one open up a
little. Place the opened artichoke, bottom up, on a board or a working
surface. Drain another artichoke from its bath and repeat what you did with
the first two, and line up the one that opens next to the last one.
Continue until all the artichokes are opened up. The last one will have to
be tapped against the board. In a small bowl, combine salt and pepper. Take
one artichoke at a time and sprinkle all over, including between the
leaves, with salt and pepper mixture. Heat the oil in a deep earthenware or
similar saucepan. Cook as many artichokes at a time as fit in one layer
over moderate heat for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bottoms and the sides
are well browned. During the cooking period, sprinkle some cold water over
the artichokes to produce steam, so that the inside will be cooked, too. To
do this the authentic way, have a bowl containing cold water near the
range. Dip your closed fist in the water and then open it forcefully over
the roasting artichokes. Repeat sprinkling several times. When all the
artichokes are done, transfer them to a plate, bottom side down to keep the
moisture in.* Pick them up at the bottom with a fork and dip them, one by
one in the hot oil again, pressing the leaves to the bottom of the pan. The
artichokes will open up like roses and the leaves will become golden and
crisp. Serve immediately.
NOTE: Although traditionally Carciofi alla Giudia are served piping hot,
they are delicious at room temperature.
*Up to this point you may prepare the artichokes several hours ahead of
time and keep them, bottom side down, so that they do not lost their
moisture. Should they become too dry, sprinkle some cold water on them when
reheating and press the leaves down against the bottom of the pan.
From Gemini's MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini