I love Smelts and aint ashamed of it!
Never could understand fishermen. Herring Bait (used to catch fish) would cost 2.00 a lb. and delicious Smelt was going for .99 cents. Either they are using the wrong bait, or I’m eating the wrong fish.
Split and bone if your squeamish. I do not degut , simply crunch them whole or fry in olive oil, black pepper, paprika and a bit of garlic. Voila! Quick and simple.
Then I started improvising. This was too cheap, too much like my famous hot dog soup. I wanted more, I wanted to hear –
This was the best Schmelt I ever had” or “I need some schmelt tonight and I don’t care how I get it!”
So to gussy it up I split and laid out those smelt fillets. And stared for inspiration! Zip, then I remembered a most strange but good Santa Cruz recipe.
Instructions: split and bone those smelts and place a fillet of anchovy on each fillet and roll up from the tail end. Now toothpick the rolls or pack these sushi imitations together in a buttered dish. Sprinkle with seasoned bread crumbs and bake for about 25 -30 minutes in a moderate oven. Sprinkle with lemon juice and paprika. My addition — (original recipe’s authorship unknown.) Now I’m thinking — why not with a seaweed strip, red pepper’s thinly sliced or a garlic or mushroom center. Whatever … send me your own unique Smelt suggestions. This is a no wine dish, a good dark beer is required.
Your Smeltian commentaries are always welcome.
“Men who pursue women get exhausted,
Men who run from women never get going.” Yours truly