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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 04-03-2010, 10:38 PM   #1
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Default Deep Fried and Smelt and Sweet Tater Fries-Update w/pron

Cut up a large sweet potato into french fry size strips...skin on.
I immersed the raw fries in ice water bath for 15 minutes then dried them between paper towels.
Deep fried them for 5 minutes, they floated to the top and I should have removed them from the fryer but I didn't, dang sure will next time.
Tad bid overcooked to my liking but wifey went bonkers over the taste/texture.
Drained them on cookie sheet in a 200 degree oven awaiting the fish.

Had 2 pounds of cleaned smelt, only cooked 1 pound. Gave them a once over, then an all purpose flour coating.
Had a box of McCormics Golden Batter Dip. It calls for a certain amount of water to mix dry ingredients with. I used warm Budweiser beer, looking for a more fluffy type mixture.
Added some salt and pepper to the mixture and dipped the flour coated smelt into it.
OMG the batter coating was much thicker but very very light.

Smelt took about 4 minutes to completely cook.
I think next time I wont use the beer as the coating was much too thick for my taste but the smelt tasted awesome along with the sweet tater fries.

I hit both the fries and smelt with coarse sea salt when they came out of the deep fryer.

I consider the meal a big sucess, but when the food floats to the top of the peanut oil, I will remove and season immediately.

I am sorry no pictures were taken because I was busy with another few projects, then realized I had to have dinner ready in less than 30 minutes.....grrrrrr!

I declare it an awesome meal per my wife.
Will try and do photos with the next batch of smelt for your viewing pleasure.
Here are a couple of washed and dried smelt.


Cookie sheet with sweet tater fries.

Tonite I washed the smelt, did a dry dip of the dry breading mix with salt and pepper for spice.
We were much happier w/o the added deep fat taste but ive still got to adjust my flour to make them taste like my grandmother used to make the smelt.
Hers melted in your mouth.
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Last edited by bbqbull; 04-05-2010 at 07:28 PM.. Reason: edit
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Unread 04-03-2010, 10:41 PM   #2
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I love smelt. Around here it's getting harder and harder to go smelting.... not as many coming to shore.... miss the old days.....
You should try them with a horseradish tarter sauce... mmmmmmm
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Unread 04-03-2010, 10:53 PM   #3
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I'm hungry now after reading that!
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Unread 04-03-2010, 11:11 PM   #4
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Probably a very simple answer but I'm not sure...

Why do the potatoes require an ice bath ?

PS: I'm gonna need to google "smelt"... never heard of that.
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Unread 04-03-2010, 11:18 PM   #5
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Smelt are long thin fish that used to be a very large population in the great lakes.
Ive spent many many hours netting them.
You clean them with a pair of scissors, remove there heads, slit there belly and run your thumb down the inside bottom.
We froze mega pounds every year.
When you deep fry them it cooks their micro scales, meat and the bones.
Heck I even eat the tails, I call them a great lake delicacy.

http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/newslett...t_to_know.html


I believe soaking the sweet tater raw fries cools the center.
When deep fried it gives a crunchy exterior, meaty interior.

If you ever get a chance to eat fried smelt Vinny I suggest you partake, you will be very very pleased.
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Last edited by bbqbull; 04-03-2010 at 11:40 PM.. Reason: added link
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Unread 04-04-2010, 06:43 AM   #6
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That meal sounds good. My dad and I used to smelt in the 70's-80's. These days the catch has been very poor. As you commented, remove from oil as soon as it floats or even before. These little guys cook very fast. But heck if your wife loved the taste/texture then its its all good.
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Unread 04-04-2010, 07:04 AM   #7
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Ya can't beat a feed of Smelts fried up in flour and salt pork, we get them here by the garbage bag full, thru the ice on a small hook!!
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Unread 04-04-2010, 07:57 AM   #8
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Gosh, your post brings back memories from 30 years ago. I was stationed at K.I. Sawyer when I was introduced to smelting. Sure was good eats! Are you in the U.P.?
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Unread 04-04-2010, 08:28 AM   #9
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I haven't had smelt in year! My favorite way to cook and eat them is to catch them, clean them, put them on a stick and cook them over an open fore on the beach!

I thin it has more to do with the environment that the actual fish
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Unread 04-04-2010, 09:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribbin' Randy View Post
Gosh, your post brings back memories from 30 years ago. I was stationed at K.I. Sawyer when I was introduced to smelting. Sure was good eats! Are you in the U.P.?
Randy
Nope, I am N.W. of Lansing but used to smelt dip in small streams near Towas.

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Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
I haven't had smelt in year! My favorite way to cook and eat them is to catch them, clean them, put them on a stick and cook them over an open fore on the beach!

I thin it has more to do with the environment that the actual fish
Ive done that too RonL.
Your right it was awesome starting a fire on the beach of lake Huron and cooking fish on a stick.

I bought the smelt at our local store, I assume they were caught in nets by a commercial fishing boat, very tasty though.
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Unread 04-04-2010, 09:45 AM   #11
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Gosh I miss smelting. I never liked eating them but it was sure fun to catch them.
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Unread 04-05-2010, 08:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
I haven't had smelt in year! My favorite way to cook and eat them is to catch them, clean them, put them on a stick and cook them over an open fore on the beach!

I thin it has more to do with the environment that the actual fish
Great fun! Throwing the nets in off the piers of Chicago at all hours of the morning. We would bring a grill and just throw the smelt on the grill right from the nets. Not a fish eater but enough beer and blackberry brandy to keep warm and it tasted good.
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Unread 04-05-2010, 09:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cast Iron Cheif View Post
Great fun! Throwing the nets in off the piers of Chicago at all hours of the morning. We would bring a grill and just throw the smelt on the grill right from the nets. Not a fish eater but enough beer and blackberry brandy to keep warm and it tasted good.
Similar when we cut up a deer, fire up the grill or a fry pan and cooked sliced tenderloins with some Lowrys salt.
A cold beer or a mixed drink..........don't get no better than that.
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Unread 04-05-2010, 10:34 PM   #14
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Never had smelt, looks good though,,BTW. I learned with russet potatoes a twice cooked method. First cook at 320, take out bring the temp. up to 360 or so, and fry again. Kind of a hassel though.
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Unread 04-06-2010, 05:30 AM   #15
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This is how we used to go "smelt dippin'"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG_P1of2t9Q
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