ARTICHOKE HEARTS “FRANCESE”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATry these as an appetizer, a party food, a lunch or dinner entree’.  Easy to prepare and while exceptional right out of the pan, they are also delicious reheated in case you need to make them ahead of time.  ARTICHOKE HEARTS FRANCESE are an ItalianAmerican treat using a bonafide Italian cooking method called “INDORATO”.  This “golden coating” refers to the beautiful color the eggs give the finished product.  Sources say it’s a style that originated in Amalfi, the city that’s given it’s name to the magnificient coast it lies on.  I’ve described my thoughts on why this style is called “FRANCESE” or “FRANCAISE” meaning in the French style  Perhaps French conquerors brought this to the Campania region?  OR, since this is a very popular style of cooking chicken and other proteins, fish, shellfish (have you tried Shrimp Francese yet?? You must!!)and vegetables in the ItalianAmerican restaurant and enclaves of the American NorthEast I say it was a term made up by those first immigrants who came here.  Many migrated into restaurant work and eventually opened their own.  America in the early 1900’s loved French Cuisine and regarded French recipes and techniques as best in show.  You had real class if you cooked/ate French.  Perhaps…the Italian cooks familiar with “Indorato” gave it the name Francese? That would catch the interest of Americans looking to have “class”.  Just a thought.  WHAT is Francese?  The food it rolled in seasoned flour, then into a mixture of Beaten eggs, FRESH minced Italian Flat leaf parsley, black pepper, and sometimes grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano.  My style is to always add the Pecorino Romano.  The cheese in the “batter” elevates the whole flavor to that wonderful old school Italian restaurant taste.  That “Grandma” taste that is like a wonderful hug.  Many recipe have you dip the food back into the flour, then into the pan of hot oil.  I don’t.  Flour, Egg, Fry.  I serve these as they are, with just a squeeze of fresh lemon.  Finger food.  Amazing.  Let’s cook!!!

10 cooked Artichoke Hearts , quartered.   If using Frozen or Canned make sure they are well drained.  I like using the Canned.

1/2 cup Sifted All Purpose Flour, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.

3 JUMBO Eggs

1/8 cup Grated PECORINO ROMANO Cheese

2 tbs. finely minced FLAT LEAF ITALIAN PARSLEY

Lemon

salt, pepper

OLIVE OIL

In a wide and heavy frying pan slowly heat about 1/2 inch of Olive Oil.   Beat the eggs with the parsley, some black pepper, and the grated Cheese.  Dredge each of the Artichoke heart quarters in the flour, shake off excess then into the egg mixture, letting that excess roll off. Now gently lay into the hot oil.  Make sure it’s hot enough,  The artichoke heart should sizzle immediately.   After 2 minutes check the bottom, be sure you’re not overcrowding the pan.   I do no more than 6 at a time to keep the oil at a more constant temperature.  When one side is beautifully golden gently flip it and fry on the other side, takes about 1 1/2 minutes or less.  Drain on paper towels..  When you are all done squeeze the lemon on JUST BEFORE SERVING!!!  And enjoy.

2 thoughts on “ARTICHOKE HEARTS “FRANCESE”

  1. Claudia Metz

    Hi and Happy Holidays! What’s the best way of rehearing these if making ahead of time? Oven? Microwave? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  2. Gloria Jean Cicchino

    No matter how many we make there are never leftovers. But, I would heat in oven. Microwave would make them soggy. Good luck.

    Reply

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