Sunday, 29 March 2009

Use a Sprat to Catch a Mackerel

Or a sprout...

If you are wondering what on earth I am talking about, I am not surprised! It is an old saying that to catch a mackerel, you need to use a small fish as bait. The moral being that:

"If you use a sprat to catch a mackerel, you make a small expenditure or take a small risk in the hope of a much greater gain."
Right, back to the point of this post - sprats! Or sprattus sprattus to give them their full name. They were on special offer in Tesco fish counter this week for £3 a kilo! There are not many fish available as cheaply as that, so I snapped up 300 g for under £1.

To cook them, no gutting or filleting is needed as they can be eaten whole. Rinse under cold water, pat dry then coat them with seasoned flour.

Heat some oil in a large frying pan or if you have a chip pan, that would be ideal. I used light olive oil to fry them in.

Fry the sprats in batches for about 2-3 minutes each maximum until golden brown.

Remove from the oil carefully using a slotted spoon and then place on some kitchen towel to remove some more of the oil. Keep them warm in the oven whilst you cook the remaining batches, then serve with salad and lemon to squeeze over them.

As my fiancee seemed to baulk at none too happy at the idea of eating fishes with eyes and bones, I ended up eating the whole 300 g myself! I was rather full afterwards, but a very tasty meal nonetheless.

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