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Deviled Smelt

12 oz Smelt, thawed if frozen
1/4 c All-purpose flour
1/4 ts Salt
1 ts Dry mustard
1/4 ts Cayenne pepper
1/2 ts Paprika
1 Finely grated lemon peel
Vegetable oil for frying
2 tb Chopped fresh parsley
Lemon wedges
Lemon peel strips (opt)
Fresh dill sprig (opt)


Rinse smelt under cold running water. Pat dry on paper towels.

In a plastic bag, combine flour, salt, mustard, cayenne pepper, paprika and lemon peel. Add smelt and shake well until fish are evenly coated. Half fill a deep-fat fryer or saucepan with oil; heat to 375'F. (190'C.) or until a 1/2" cube of day-old bread browns in 40 seconds.

Place 1/2 of smelt in a frying basket. Lower basket gradually into hot oil and fry 1 minute, shaking basket frequently. Drain on paper towels. Reheat oil to 375'F. (190'C.). Repeat with remaining smelt. Place all of smelt into basket and fry 1-2 minutes more or until lightly golden and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Turn into a warm serving dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve hot with lemon wedges. Garnish with lemon peel strips and dill sprigs, if desired.


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