635.—SMELTS, TO FRY. (Fr.—Éperlans Frits.)
Ingredients.—Smelts, egg and breadcrumbs, a little flour, boiling fat or oil.
Method.—Smelts should be very fresh, and not washed more than is necessary to cleanse them. Dry them in a cloth, flour lightly, dip them in egg, cover with very fine breadcrumbs, and put them into boiling fat or oil. Fry a nice pale brown, then drain the smelts before the fire on a piece of paper, and serve with plain melted butter. This fish is often used as a garnish.
Time.—5 minutes. Average Cost, from 1s. to 2s. per dozen. Seasonable from October to May.
To Choose Smelts.—When good, this fish is of a fine silvery appearance, and when alive the back is of a dark-brown shade, which, after death, fades to a light fawn. Smelts should have a refreshing fragrance, resembling that of a cucumber.
636.—SMELTS, POTTED. (Fr.—Terrine d' Éperlans.)
Ingredients.—Fresh smelts, mace, pepper and salt, butter.
Method.—Wash the fish carefully, draw out the insides, and sprinkle the seasoning over them. Put them into a baking-tin with pieces of butter, and bake for 20 minutes. Allow the smelts to get nearly cold, then place them on a clean cloth to drain, and put into pots. Clarify the butter in which they were baked, adding more if necessary, and pour it over the fish.
Time.—20 minutes. Average Cost, 1s. to 2s. per dozen. Seasonable from October to May.
The Smelt (Fr. eperlan) is a small but very delicate fish, and is highly esteemed. It is allied to the salmon, and inhabits the sea about the mouths of rivers. The body is long and compressed, silvery-white in colour, and semi-transparent; the eyes are large. From August to May it frequents fresh water and spawns; afterwards it returns to the sea. A violet-like odour is exhaled from the smelt. The Atharine, or "sand-smelt," is an inferior fish, sometimes sold for the true variety. It is allied to the mullets, and is of a pale pink, spotted with black.
637.—SNAILS, BAKED. (Fr.—Escargots rôtis.)
Ingredients.—2 dozen snails, 1 oz. of butter, 1 teaspoonful of finely-chopped parsley, 1 shallot finely-chopped, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
Method.—Soak the snails in salt and water for 12 hours, then drain them well. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, shallot and parsley, cover with breadcrumbs, and add a small piece of butter. Bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes, and serve hot.
Time.—To bake, about 20 minutes. Average Cost, from 6d. to 1s. per dozen.
638.—SNAILS WITH PIQUANT SAUCE. (Fr.—Escargots, sauce piquante.)
Ingredients.—2 dozen snails, ½ an oz. of butter, 2 shallots finely-