Now... where can we go fishing for those silvery gems? I see an ice auger and a nice warm shack in my future!
Directions1. Lightly rinse the smelts and dry thoroughly.
To clean the smelts: using a small pair of kitchen scissors, hold the
smelt belly up in one hand with its head pointing away from you. With the scissors, open the belly by cutting from the vent to the point of the lower jaw. With the back of the thumb of the other hand, push the entrails out of the abdominal cavity in a single motion. Grasp the gills and the entrails and pull them clear of the head. If necessary, use the scissors to cut the esophagus just inside the jaw. Alternately, ask your fish store to clean the smelts for you.
Hey thanks Hannafords! Someone else did it for me!
2. Place the flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper on a plate and lightly dredge the smelts in the mixture until coated on all sides.
cook about 2 to 3 minutes on each side (don't fiddle with the fish ‹ let them cook undisturbed).
I really like that statement! :D
4. When you flip the smelts over, they should be golden brown. The timing depends on the size of the fish ‹ a smaller 5-inch smelt will only take about 2 minutes per side and a larger (around 8 or 9 inches long) fish will need to cook closer to 3 minutes per side.
5. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with lemon wedges and the Better Than Tartar Sauce, if desired.
Better Than Tartar Sauce
Makes about 1 cup
In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients until fully incorporated. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper, or hot sauce to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.