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Shrimp-stuffed Artichokes

6 medium artichokes
1 1/2 pounds raw small shrimp
8 tablespoons lemon juice
4 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup mayonnaise

To insure that this dish looks as attractive as it should, you must
remove the chokes of the artichokes very carefully. After you have
spread out the center leaves, pull out the very innermost ones --
they will be pale in color and rather thorny -- then scrape away
the fuzzy choke with a spoon. If it doesn't come easily, cut around
it with a grapefruit knife. Don't overcook the artichoke lest it
fall apart when you handle it.

To prepare the artichokes, remove the stems, cut one-half inch off
the tops and snip off the sharp tips of each leaf. Then cook,
tightly covered, in plenty of boiling water to which you have added
two tablespoons of the lemon juice and two teaspoons of salt, until
the base can be pierced wtih a fork, 30 to 40 minutes. Drain well.

To cook shrimp, bring one quart water to a boil, add one tablespoon
lemon juice and two teaspoons salt. Add shrimp and bring the water
to a boil again. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, three to five
minutes or until shrimp have turned pink. Reserve one-half cup of
the water the shrimp were cooked in. Then drain, peel and clean
the shrimp. Reserve 18 shrimp for garnish. Place remaining shrimp
in a blender with the reserved liquid, the remaining five tablespoons
of lemon juice, seasonings, including the remaining three-quarter
teaspoon of salt, and one cup of mayonnaise. Blend until the shrimp
are broken up. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator, where it
will become considerably thicker, until ready to fill artichokes.


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