Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fried Small Fish (Pečene Sardele)

The first of three recipes, in Heike's Slovenian appetizer series:

In Slovenia and Croatia, fried small fish, whether it be sardines, mackerel or smelts, make a wonderful appetizer with a cold beer.

Serves 4
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
Olive oil, for frying
1/2 pound fresh sardines or smelts
Lemon wedges

Beat the egg in a shallow dish with a teaspoon of water.
Place flour in a second shallow bowl. Mix in the salt and pepper.
Coat the bottom of a skillet with ¼ inch layer of olive oil. Heat on medium heat until the oil starts to sputter.
Take each fish and roll it in the egg mixture, then roll in the flour mixture, until it is covered in flour.
Fry each fish for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it is browned on one side, then flip it over and cook 3 to 4 minutes on the other side, or until it is browned on the other side.
Remove from the pan and dry on a paper towel.
Sprinkle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and serve immediately.

Picture (Head Chef at Grand Hotel Toplice, in Bled, frying trout) courtesy of Heike Milhench.

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