Fish Fry with Lemon and Artichokes
- 6 cups canola oil, for frying
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- Fresh Smelt, 3 small fish per person
- Baby artichokes, 1 per person - tough leaves trimmed, halved, chokes removed and thinly sliced
- Lemons, 1/2 per person
- Fresh thyme
Decant oil into a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Set over a low flame and heat slowly. Oil should be below smoking point but a pinch of flour should sizzle immediately when oil is ready. Test carefully and often. Line a baking sheet with paper towel and set aside.
Whisk together flour and salt. Dredge fish in seasoned flour, shaking off excess, and carefully lower into hot oil. Work in batches so not to overcrowd pan and cool oil. Fish should be golden brow, about 5 or 6 minutes cooking time. Lift out of oil using a slotted spoon or tongs and transfer to paper towel lined sheet. Repeat process with remaining fish, artichokes and lemon. Make sure the oil stays at the correct temperature by performing sizzle test between batches. The vegetables will cook quickly - 2 or 3 minutes. When finished with frying quickly toss a few sprigs of thyme into hot oil just to crisp. Serve hot.
Home frying is messy process. Keep fan running to help with odor. Frying oil can be cooled, strained, returned to bottle and reserved for future frying use if desired.