Serving
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Smelts, Fried with Dill
Finland
  -   Silakkapihvit
Makes
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
16  
***
1-1/4 hr  
Yes
The right way to eat smelts is "heads guts and feathers" - but some people have a problem with that - so - recipes. These smelts can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature, reheat well, and can be used as an ingredient in sandwiches. They're substantial enough to make a light dinner for two served with some boiled potatoes.



1
1/4
1/3
1
1/4
1
3
#
c
c
t
t

T
Smelts headless (1)  
Dill, fresh
Rye Flour
Salt
Pepper
Egg
Oil
Prep   (45 min)
See Photo Gallery for details.
  1. Head and gut SMELTS (if not already done).
  2. Dry Smelts on paper towels if needed. Keep them and the working surfaces as dry as you can as you work.
  3. With a razor sharp filet or boning knife make a cut on the belly side from front to tail and through to the backbone.
  4. Flatten Smelts by running your thumbnails down both sides of the backbone from front to tail to strip the flesh from it - then slip your knife under the backbone just forward of the tail and strip it out with a single stroke. Bend it away and cut it off at the tail.
  5. Pull feathery fronds of DILL from the stems and chop small.
  6. Lay a Smelt skin side down and distribute a moderate amount of dill all along the center. Place a similar size fillet over it, skin side up, to make a sandwich. Repeat.
Run   (20 min)
  1. Mix Rye Flour, Salt and Pepper. Pour onto a plate.
  2. Beat EGG lightly and pour into a deep plate.
  3. Using one hand for the eggs and the other for the flour, dip each Sandwich into the Egg, shake off excess and drag both sides in Flour, again shaking off excess.
  4. Heat Oil in a well seasoned skillet (use a little more if the skillet is very large) and fry Smelts on both sides over moderate until medium brown. Drain on paper towels and keep warm (if serving warm).
  5. Serve warm or room temperature with a vinegar dip.
NOTES:
  1. Smelts:   Weight is for head off, guts out. Frozen smelts work fine and headless ones are usually gutted.
  2. Method:   Why sandwiches? Why not just put dill on a single fillet and fold it over? Because when you fry it it'll open up. Sandwiches stay flat. If you wanted you could split them in to two after frying.
  3. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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