Peel off tough outer leaves and cut off tips. Peel stems, keeping the round shape of the artichoke. In medium saucepot, squeeze lemon juice from lemon halves. Add artichokes, lemon halves, peppercorns, and Kosher salt. Cover in two inches of cold water. Bring to boil and simmer 20-25 minutes or until artichokes are tender. Remove from heat and shock artichokes in ice water until cool.
Drain, top down, on paper towels in refrigerator, 30 minutes or until completely cold and dry. Carefully pull back leaves of artichokes and remove the smallest leaves in the center. Remove any fuzz from artichokes. Use a piping bag, or plastic storage bag with a corner cut out, to pipe about 1 tablespoon of the Boursin Cheese into the center of the artichoke. Lightly squeeze the artichokes to close tightly; be sure not to squeeze out cheese. Refrigerate 20 minutes or until cold.
In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. Dredge artichokes in flour mixture, knocking off excess flour. Lightly coat artichokes with egg and seasoned bread crumbs; repeat coating. Freeze artichokes 30 minutes or until frozen through.
Carefully drop the frozen artichokes a few at a time into hot vegetable oil. Fry, turning once, five minutes or until golden brown; drain on paper towels.
Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. Sherry vinegar
2 tsp. finely chopped shallot
1/4 tsp. finely chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
In small bowl, whisk all ingredients together.
1 cup balsamic vinegar
In small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil; reduce heat and let simmer 5-10 minutes or until vinegar has reduced. Sauce will be syrupy and coat back of spoon.
Tomato & Pepper Coulis
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. Pepper
In small non-stick skillet, cook tomato and pepper over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes or until softened. Puree in blender or food processor until smooth; gradually add oil, salt, and pepper.
Lightly toss mixed greens with Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette. Arrange lettuce in center of serving plates, leaving a 1-inch border. Evenly divide and place stuffed artichokes in center of greens; if desired, cut artichokes in half. Drizzle basil oil and Balsamic Reduction inside border. Spoon Tomato & Pepper Coulis onto artichokes and lettuce.
*If you cannot track down Basil Oil in your local market, you can make it yourself.
3 bunches basil, washed and picked
4-5 sprigs parsley, washed
2 quarts boiling salted water
1 1/2 cups olive oil
Blanch basil and parsley in boiling salted water 20-25 seconds or until wilted. Shock basil and parsley in ice cold water. Blend with olive oil and strain with a cheese cloth. Skim the clear green oil off the top and reserve. Toss any murky residue.
Copyright 2001 Boursin Cheese