Monday, 17 March 2014

Breaded Artichoke Hearts with Lemon Mayo (Secret Recipe Club)

Secret Recipe Club

I've had my eye on the Secret Recipe Club for a while. The club works by allocating a blog to every participant, and then you have to make a recipe from that blog. (And write about it, obviously.) I've been seeing SRC posts pop up in my reader for ages, and it sounded like a really fun way to discover some new blogs. I put in an application last year, and in February, I reached the top of the waiting list, so this is my first month taking part. I was assigned to make something from Saundra at Famished Fish.

One of the first things to catch my eye as I was looking through her recipe index was a recipe for deep fried artichoke hearts with lemon & tarragon mayonnaise. I love artichokes, and had recently bought some tins to make artichoke & mushroom slices. I also happened to have a couple of crusts of slightly stale bread just waiting to be used up.

I'm always a bit wary around deep frying anything, probably because I spent too much of my childhood learning that boiling oil is what you pour on people who are attacking your castle - and when your first association is of viscerally horrible murder, it's hard to recalibrate back to the idea that it's a perfectly innocuous method of cooking. Anyway, on this occasion I decided to bake the artichokes instead of frying them, for a slightly healthier (and wimp-friendly) snack.

I haven't really breaded anything before, although I do like to use breadcrumbs for a crispy topping on oven bakes. I think when I do this again I might try to mince the breadcrumbs a little more finely! (When I attempted to do this in the food processor everything just got stuck together, so if anyone has tips for making really fine breadcrumbs, do let me know.) Taste-wise, they worked fine as they are, but the end result does look a little bit lumpy. Saundra had some helpful tips for the coating process (like using one hand for dry and one for wet ingredients) which was definitely good for my confidence on a first attempt.

Breaded Artichoke Hearts with Lemon Mayo
Adapted from Famished Fish
Serves 4

1 tin (240g) artichoke hearts
½ cup (85g) wholewheat flour
1tsp dried sage
1tsp dried thyme
1tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
1tbsp cold water
1 cup (50g) breadcrumbs
1tbsp sunflower oil (or canola oil)

For the dipping sauce:
4tbsp mayonnaise
2tsp lemon juice
1tsp dried sage
lemon zest to garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
  2. Rinse and drain the artichoke hearts, pat dry with a paper towel, and cut in half lengthwise.
  3. Combine the flour with the herbs and spices in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the water into the egg.
  5. Place the breadcrumbs in a third bowl.
  6. Grease a baking sheet with the oil.
  7. Taking one artichoke half at a time, coat first in the flour, then in egg, then in the breadcrumbs.
  8. Arrange on the baking tray.
  9. Bake for five minutes, then remove from the oven and turn all the artichoke halves. Return to the oven for a further five minutes.
  10. While the artichokes are baking, make up the dipping sauce by mixing all ingredients together, and garnishing with lemon zest.
  11. Serve the artichokes hot alongside the dip.

Check out this week's other Secret Recipe Club entries here:


Rachel said...

My objection ito deep frying isn't so much the association with castle defence, as the fact that the place reeks for days - baking is definitely the way to go!

rosaria williams said...

I have fried artichoke leaves before, just by rolling them in flour and dropping them in hot oil. These sound much more substantial fare.

Sid's Sea Palm Cooking said...

Welcome to the SRC, this is a great bunch of bloggers with some totally awesome recipes. And your choice is wonderful, and I'm so going to make it for one of my gatherings, especially since I have a jar of artichokes in the cupboard right now and I have Tapas Night coming up, and this would be perfect for that.

AM Nichols said...

You could try putting the breadcrumbs in a plastic ziplock bag, sealing it, and then crushing it with a rolling pin until the breadcrumbs are pulverized.

While I don't usually think about pouring boiling oil on people from castles (not too many castles here in Georgia) I think baking is so much more healthy. Great job!

Kate said...

Welcome to SRC! I would lean toward baking them....and I might think about using Panko bread crumbs and adding the seasonings.... It is always an adventure, and you made it work!!

SeattleDee said...

Baking these little gems was an inspired adaptation, they do sound like a fun snack idea to play with.

Michaela Kenkel said...

These look FABULOUS!! I love artichokes, too! :) Happy to be a "SRC Newbie" with you!

Deb Attinella {CookingOnTheFrontBurner} said...

It's my first time too - I love lemons so that mayo is going on my to do list!

Midnight Cowgirl said...

What a fun challenge!

Camilla Mann said...

Oh, my! You are hilarious. I don't fry things either...not because of any historical trauma on my part. But I will definitely try this. Baked is a great alternative! Thanks for sharing with the SRC.

Julie said...

Oh this looks so good. I love all things artichokes!!!

Danielle Miller said...

Welcome to the club! This sounds great - I like that you were able to adapt the recipe and bake these. A bit healthier too!

shelley c. said...

Welcome to the SRC! You know - I am not the biggest artichoke fan, but I would definitely give these a try. Great choice!

Angie Schneider said...

I have never had fried artichoke hearts. These look fingerlickingly delicious!

Anonymous said...

Sounds so delicious!

Velva said...

I would totally enjoy these breaded artichoke bites….with a good glass of chardonnay this would be a perfec small bite appetizer. Love it!


Anonymous said...

Oh, I love the idea of the Secret Recipe Club! I pin and view so many recipes but I don't really make them. This provides a fun way for you to try the recipe and get to know some great recipe bloggers. I have really only had artichoke hearts in a salad so I'm not sure how I'd like this but I have to say the mayo sounds wonderful. Pinning! ;)

Karen Kerr said...

Those look delish! What an elegant appetizer!

Deena Kakaya said...

I do love the bite of silky layers of artichoke, what a great idea to contrast them with a crunchy coating. Great recipe Rachel x

Choclette said...

I'm with you on deep frying - slightly wimpy, prefer things not to be to soaked in fat (too much) and don't like the idea of mess. Anyway your baked hearts looks really tasty, way to go!

I've had my eye on this club too, it does sound like a fun thing to do. Maybe I should apply.

Casa Costello said...

I keep intending to apply for the SRC - I'll be about 800 by the time I'm accepted at this rate. Those breaded artichoke hearts look very appealing!

mypixieblog said...

YUM!!! Rachel, these look SO VERY GOOD! Think they'd be just as yummy with frozen artichoke hearts? I don't know if this is a good "trick" per se, but my ex's very Italian mom once taught me to make breadcrumbs by taking small pieces of bread, cornflakes, pretzels, etc., and placing them in a small zip locked bag. Then she went to town with a hammer :) LOL!!

Saundra @ Famished Fish said...

Welcome! I love your adaptation of my artichokes! I have made a baked version of these as well, but my boys love the crispier fried version (I haven't shared with them Medieval torture) ;-)
As you asked, I would suggest leaving your bread to "stale out" before making crumbs, or even toast them lightly in the toaster first. I use fresh bread crumbs for meatballs-yum!

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