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what’s that smelt?

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Whipping up a quickie this morning for our weekend Market Pick-Up CSS’ers – my “Adventurous Foodie” CSS’ers to be more specific…

For those of you that opted to be a part of the Adventurous Foodie Option you know I have not yet had the chance this season to surprise you with what you might consider an exciting & unique culinary challenge, something out of the ordinary. Well, today’s the day…

Fresh Local Night Smelt is available for you today!

You know I like to keep my recipes on the lighter side…buuuttt let’s just throw that out the window today, shall we?

Frying is really the way to go with these little buggers. At the market today we have both head on and head off night smelt, the choice is yours. As you Seafoodies probably already know, having the head on will just add more flavor. Night smelt are a delicious little delicacy; eat the skin, bones, tail…the whole little thing. Think of it like a crispy crunchy fishy french fry.

Fried Night Smelt
Substitute panko, all-purpose flour or crushed cornflakes for the matzo meal. For a gluten-free version, substitute with your favorite GF cornmeal.

olive oil for frying
1 cup matzo meal
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound smelt
2 tablespoons butter
handful fresh herbs, minced
1 clove garlic minced
fresh chili pepper (about 1 whole chili)
salt and pepper
1 lemon, halved

In a large saute pan, add oil to reach 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil until 350F or when you drop a few flakes of matzo meal into the oil it begins to bubble and lightly brown.
In a wide, shallow bowl, mix together the matzo meal, garlic powder and the salt. Have the matzo meal, the smelt, a wire rack on top of a baking sheet ready by your stove. Coat a smelt on both sides with the matzo meal then carefully slide into the hot oil to fry. Repeat with a few more smelt fish (just make sure you give the smelt enough room so that they don’t touch in the oil). Fry both sides of the smelt fish for 2 minutes each side. They cook very quickly! Let the fried smelt drain its excess oil on the wire rack. Repeat with remaining batches.
Just before serving, heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and when hot, add in the garlic and chilies. When garlic becomes fragrant, season with salt and pepper and squeeze in the juice of one of the lemon halves. Turn off the heat and stir in the fresh herbs. Pour this over the plated fried smelt and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

recipe & photos from Steamy Kitchen, see full article here.

I’m excited! Are you excited?!


PS- send me pictures!! Pretty please, with little fishies on top? We wanna show the world what our Adventurous Foodie CSSers can do! Post ’em here.

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