Ok, I am so intrigued to hear what all of you think of this dish! When I told a few of my friends that I was planning on making this I would get a blank look because they had never heard of smelt. Once I told them what smelt is, they would wrinkle up their nose in disgust.
Call me crazy but I have wonderful memories of my mom making this for us when I was a kid. When I was in the local market this week the seafood department was carrying them. I scooped up a pound and even though I had no idea how my mom cooked them I was determined to give it a try. Let's just say my husband WAS NOT thrilled. He was praying that I would burn them. :) I didn't, and the biggest reward was that HE LIKED THEM!
The best way I can describe smelt is that it is a delicious crispy fish version of a fresh fry. Bonus - They are rich in calcium and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. High in calcium because you are literally eating the fish bones and all. Just a few inches long, the smelt are so small you eat the whole thing.
I'd love to hear what you think of smelt. Shoot me a comment. Have you eaten them before? How did you have them cooked (most common is smoked, broiled, or fried)? Did you like them? Gloriously Crispy Smelt 4 servings, 3 WW pts/serving 1 pound raw smelt 1 tbsp olive oil 1/2 cup flour 1/8 cup cornmeal 1 tbsp kosher salt 4 dashes of Tabasco 1 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
Simple Cocktail Sauce 1/4 cup of ketchup 1 1/2 tsp horseradish juice from a wedge of lemon
In a bowl, toss the smelt with the kosher salt, Tabasco, and black pepper. Once the fish have been tossed with the seasoning, sprinkle over the flour and cornmeal. Toss to coat.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and drizzle the olive oil over the foil. Evenly spread the smelt over the foil. Broil for about 8 minutes. Turn the smelt a few times during cooking to crisp up both sides. Serve with a simple cocktail sauce or ketchup, and lemons.
Food is so intriguing. I’ve always loved to cook whether it’s casual and simple or complicated and elegant. After living in the Midwestern United States all my life I find myself jumping between All-American foods and foods from other cultures. There is definitely a sense of comfort with cooking and enjoying food that I’ve grown up with.
I have a voracious curiosity to learn about all cultures, especially the Middle East/Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai foods. I’ve learned that a simple curry dish or an Asian dumpling can transform your mood and be just as much of a comfort food as the foods you’ve known you’re whole life.
It is fascinating to me how each culture has such a diversity of ingredients, and when used with different combinations and cooking techniques you can easily transform the same few ingredients into a multitude of dishes. The unfamiliar, the diverse ingredients and techniques, can be intimidating to many people. I’ve created this blog to chronicle and share my explorations in the kitchen so that hopefully you will want to start experimenting in your kitchen.