In a perfect world, you'd have seen these delicious morsels of artichoke goodness well before Colin Firth presented Meryl Streep her Best Actress Oscar (my favourite moment of Sunday night - my boyfriend looked so handsome and Meryl so eloquent and perfectly charming). It's been crazy busy around here, with this and that and trying to find time to sleep and eat too. Luckily I'm snagging a few seconds to blab about my favourite movies of late and to tell you about these most delicious appetizers. Believe me, you want this recipe in your appetizer file.
First off, let's talk flicks. Admittedly, I didn't see a lot of the Best Picture nominations. The Artist is playing my town soon and I'll for sure take it in, but other than that, I may have to catch the rest from the comfort of my couch. Over the past couple of months or so, I did see Moneyball, and I kind of liked it a lot, which is surprising, because I'm so far from sporty it's not even funny. Nor am I the biggest Pitt fan, but it all worked for me: the whole underdog thing I suppose. 50/50 made me laugh and cry and hug everyone just a bit closer and tighter. Beginners was sweet and thoughtful, Chrisopher Plummer well deserving of his recognition on Oscar night. Let's talk about Drive for a bit...I mean, Ryan Gosling should have been nominated for something. His performance was crazy good; when I watched it with my friend Mel, we kept commenting on how, um, fit he looked. See it for his fit-ness (that Notebook movie has nothing on how good he looks in this) but you might have to close your eyes to the blood and gore bits. Just sayin'. However, your eardrums will be doing happy dances to the music. Noting to self to pick up soundtrack, right now. Lastly, let me tell you about Melancholia - a strange, beautifully dark little movie from Lars Von Trier. Visually stunning, especially the first fifteen minutes, and it gets you thinking about who you want holding your hand as the Earth comes to an end. There, I'll leave you thinking about that for a sec.
Alrighty now, are you ready to hear about these artichoke and asiago poppers? Excellent! So, Julie made these in the Fall, and I bookmarked the page, knowing I'd make them for Oscar night, because that's the kind of food nerd I am. I'm a planner-aheader, what can I say? So, she took her favourite artichoke dip, rolled it into cute little balls, dipped it in Panko and fried it. I know, crazy good hey? Remember that calories don't count on Birthdays or Oscar night so you are good to go. When I saw Angelina's frail frame, I popped two.
So let's get started! Take your favourite artichoke dip. This is mine from last year, or you can try Julie's - it's super delicious too. Make it the night before cuz it's needs to chill overnight. The firmer the better!
Get yourself a breading station...little shallow bowls of flour, beaten egg, and Panko bread crumbs. Roll the dip into walnut sized balls, then dip into the flour, then egg, then Panko breadcrumbs. Set aside.
Sink these babies into a hot oil bath. Don't try taking pictures like I did - dangerous and not 100% the smartest thing to do! Brown on both sides, drain well on paper towel.
Serve 'em warm, of course, and I kind of like a squeeze of lemon too. These are just as you imagine - a creamy artichokey and cheesy middle, with a crispy crunchy outside. Heaven, is a word that comes to mind. When you are having one of those days (and we all have them, believe me), bust out a little artichoke dip, chill it, fry it, get into your jams and rent yourself a little Ryan Gosling action on the television. You're welcome.
Artichoke and Asiago Poppers
Make a batch of your favourite artichoke dip. Be sure to chill it overnight. This stuff needs to be firm!
Organize a breading station of flour (about 1 cup), 1 beaten egg (maybe 2 if you have lots of dip) and about 2 cups of Panko crumbs. Use Panko only, as it makes a great crumb for frying. Roll artichoke dip into small, walnut size balls, then dip into flour, then egg, then Panko. Set on a cutting board or cookie sheet once done. Heat a couple of inches of canola oil in a skillet or shallow pot over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, (it will sizzle around a bit of bread dropped in), drop the balls in a few at a time - I had about 8 in the first batch. Don't overcrowd the pot, or your oil will cool down quickly and you don't want that. Cook until golden on one side, then flip and do the same for the other side. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve on a cute platter and pop them while warm! Recipe adapted from Dinner With Julie.