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Recipe

Fried smelts with blood orange and fennel salad

By Anthony Caturano
December 22, 2008
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Serves 4

SALAD

1bunch watercress, stemmed
1bulb fresh fennel, cut into fine julienne strips
2blood oranges, rind and pith removed, flesh cut into segments
2tablespoons top-quality olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. On a platter, arrange the watercress, fennel, and blood oranges.

2. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper; set aside.

SMELTS

12fresh smelts, butterflied and boned
1 1/2cups buttermilk
1 1/2cups semolina
1 1/2cups flour
1tablespoon salt
3cups canola oil (for frying)
1. In a large bowl, combine the smelts and buttermilk; soak them for 10 minutes.

2. In a shallow bowl, combine the semolina, flour, and salt.

3. In a deep fat fryer or other large deep pot, heat the oil until it registers 350 degrees on a deep fat thermometer.

4. Drain the smelts and dredge them in the semolina mixture. With tongs, carefully lower the smelts into the hot oil. Fry them for 5 minutes or until they are golden brown. Drain the smelts on paper towels; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Arrange the smelts on the orange salad. Adapted from Anthony Caturano

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