He who smelt it… well, I like smelt. They are traditionally a winter mainstay and are often caught while ice fishing. They look like salmon but they are much smaller, usually under a foot long, but some species can get up to two feet. Where the heck they would walk to is anyone’s guess I suppose. But, I digress.
Let’s fry up a mess o’ smelt…
- 2 pounds of smelts
- ½ cup half and half
- 1/3 cup flour
- ½ cup cornmeal
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- Dash of pepper
- Dash of paprika
- A cup or so of corn oil
Thoroughly mix the flour cornmeal salt pepper and paprika. I use a Hungarian ‘half-sweet’ paprika which is a blend of mild and pungent paprika types. It has a nice smokiness about it that I find irresistible.
Dip the smelts in the half and half then roll in the coating mixture.
Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet. I use a nice Loge cast iron skillet for this.
Fry the smelts for about five minutes on each side, they should be nicely browned. When they are done, place them on a paper toweled plate to drain, I usually serve these with boiled Long Island potatoes and warm red cabbage with apples, ah, but that’s another recipe.