1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cups corn or peanut oil
10 frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, drained, halved lengthwise, and patted dry
1 cup Béarnaise Sauce
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Mix well.
In another bowl, combine the milk, egg, and olive oil. Whisk this into the dry ingredients until well incorporated; do not overmix. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes.
Heat the corn oil to 375°F in a deep heavy skillet or flameproof casserole.
Using tongs, dip the artichoke hearts in the batter and then gently drop them in the hot oil. Fry a few at a time until golden brown, just a few seconds. Drain on paper towels and repeat with the remaining artichokes. Serve hot, with béarnaise sauce.
If you don’t have a deep-fat thermometer, drop a 1 inch cube of bread in the oil. If it turns golden brown within 1 minute, the oil is hot enough. Remove the bread and proceed with the recipe.