The process is very simple. Gut and remove the head of the smelts and rinse them out first. I learned this the hard way. The curing itself requires that you salt the hell out of them and cover in vinegar. I used apple cider since it was the only kind I had on hand when I did this but I think a champagne vinegar would be better for the next time I use them. After doing that, cover them and let them sit for 12-24 hours. I let them sit for about 18 hours.
|Oh hey guys, hows that salt and vinegar feel in the wound?|
|I shit you not this took hours.|
|Hey lil guys, aren't you just the tastiest?|
So after getting out of a morning shift at the bar I recruited my "twin sister" Lexy to help me make this happen since we both love making delicious foods.
|Molto bene and shit.|
|T-lex hands. So tiny...|
|We only got a picture with this many on the plate cause everyone was full.|
So there are more than a few ways to make puttanesca, the one I decided to make was using Mario Batali's recipe. While not all recipes for the sauce call for anchovies, I think its smart that this one does. You can pretty much add white anchovies (and thusly white smelts) so almost any dressing or sauce to add a layer of complexity and flavor that most people won't even know that its there. I followed it exactly and didn't fuck up anything so there isn't much to say other than gather the ingredients...
|gratuitous ingredient shot.|
|I mean, I guess it kind of smells like a whore... and by that I mean delicious.|
So there you have it. A different way of using smelts and a couple of ways to use them. I might make some more for an antipasti plate and just serve them along side of some marcona almonds and whole green olives for a nice summer party appetizer. Or I'll just horde it all myself.