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Christmas Eve Pan Fried Smelts




Christmas Eve is celebrated with 7 fishes in our home. Fried smelts is just one of the many fish we cook.  There are seven Traditional fried, baked and raw fish we eat as a family. Born and raised in America, my parents continued the Rome and Bari traditions every Christmas Eve.




 I included additional spices added if you would like to try my version but that's just optional. Christmas eve always consisted of 7 fishes. We would have calamari stuffed, crab legs, lobster, shrimp, scallops mostly fried.  Baccala which is salted cod fish. We also had shrimp cocktail, fried haddock and clams casino and of course fried smelts. Many more than 7! Smelts are a small fish. Through the years I have adapted to how we like our fish and add the extra dried herbs to my flour. This was not how the original recipe was made. I just like the extra flavors. The years mom made the smelts they were just a crusty coating on the outside fried, simple and delicious. Check out the instructions for cleaning at the end.


Christmas Eve Pan Fried Smelts

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
3 teaspoons salt
1 plastic bag
2 pounds cleaned smelts
1 cup vegetable oil

Optional: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper,  1 teaspoon each dried oregano, basil, parsley, dill, added to the flour

Heat oil on medium heat.
Rinse the smelts and pat dry. In the plastic bag add all the rest of the dry ingredients shake to blend.





The original recipe is just flour and salt. If you want to have a spicy flavor then add the herbs and cayenne pepper. We love it that way. Through the years everyone needs to adapt and make their own traditions. We still make it two ways, flour and salt then the spicy style. The fish always comes out crispy and delicious!



Directions:

Shake the dampened smelts in the flour.




These were a favorite of my dad's


Place one smelt at a time in the hot oil and fry until crisp and golden brown on both sides around 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.


Cleaning the smelts:

Hold the smelt and place the scissors right behind the gill plate and just above the fin.
Make one snip. Turn the smelt upside down so the belly is facing up towards you.
Insert the scissor right into the vent and gently pull up on the skin. Slide the scissors all the way up to the head. Gently remove the head away from the body and while your pulling everything out slowly then run you fingers through it to make sure you got everything and rinse. I soak mine in a big bowl of salt water.
We save the heads for soup or use them for fertilizing the garden.



Some other wonderful Christmas Eve Traditional Recipes:

Seas Scallops Insalata Caprese
 Shrimp Cocktail
 Fried Shrimp
 Fried Calamari
 Coconut Shrimp
 Baked Haddock With Buttery Lobster and Wine Sauce
Baccala
 Best Ever Fish Fry Recipes

Stuffed Calamari
 Traditional Italian Recipes and 7 Fishes
The Story of Traditional 7 Fishes
Calamari

Baked Italian Style Flounder
Escargot with wine, butter and cheese
Seafood Medley Scampi Pasta

Christmas Roundup Recipes
Christmas Eve Recipes
Baccala
Our One Stop Cookie Shop
More Italian Holiday Recipes




Fried Smelts

prep time: cook time: total time:
A Christmas Eve Traditional fried fish

ingredients:


  • 1 cup flour
    1 teaspoon granulated garlic
    1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
    3 teaspoons salt
    1 plastic bag
    2 pounds cleaned smelts
    1 cup vegetable oil

    Optional: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper,  1 teaspoon each dried oregano, basil, parsley, dill, added to the flour

instructions:


  1. Heat oil on medium heat.
    Rinse the smelts and pat dry. In the plastic bag add all the rest of the dry ingredients shake to blend.
    Place one smelt at a time in the hot oil and fry until crisp and golden brown on both sides around 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.
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2 comments:

  1. A seafood meal to celebrate X'mas sounds perfect to me. This looks so delicious!

    ReplyDelete

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