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Fried Smelt
Makes 6-8 Servings
*2-3 pounds smelt
*Salt and pepper
*Olive oil
*Red pepper flakes
1We usually buy the fish with the heads already removed. Wash them and pat dry.
2Place a cup or so of flour along with some salt and pepper for taste into a paper bag. Now here comes a fork in the road: in my family, we would throw the smelt in the bag and shake them up until they were covered in flour. Alternately, you may prefer to dip the fish in a batter of milk and egg prior to mixing with the flour. Your choice.
3Take a cast iron skillet and add olive oil, along with some garlic and red pepper flakes (don't you just love the exact science?) - just add this stuff to your taste. (By the way, just because we prefer a cast iron skillet doesn't mean you can't use other things - like a regular frying pan or deep fryer.)
4Add the fish to the heated oil and cook until browned on each side. They cook quickly. When finished, drain the oil and place the fish on a paper towel on whatever serving platter you choose (catch the excess oil). Then eat 'em whole! If you like fish, you'll love smelt.
Robert Tinnell and Shannon Colaianni Tinnell, Authors, Feast of the Seven Fishes: The Collected Comic Strip & Italian Family Holiday Cookbook