Now switching gears to Fish! When my little boy started eating proteins at nine months I occasionally fed him a little bit of teriyaki salmon or trout ..he always seemed to like it ..and once a week I would buy him a special tuna pasta mini shells from a lovely little local cafe ..and he would consistently eat that for lunch and dinner every Wednesday! ..he has and still does love this meal ..and to this day we go once a week for lunch. When my little guy started refusing almost everything I offered him it was this one meal this one day of the week that I could relax and just eat with my little one ..the sad thing was that it wasn't my cooking that I could depend on him to eat ..but the really really good thing was that it kept his little palate eating fish!
Because of his incredibe pickiness that formed sometime around 18 months I was so nervous that he would also completely refuse the teriyaki salmon and trout meals I would make ..I pulled back and hardly ever served them to him ..I know I know crazy ..but when you are dealing with constant struggles over all foods ..that was one of my panic operating modes that I fell into. Looking back it was such a confusing and exhausting time ..I did however stick with the tuna pasta shells and I am so thankful now that I did ..
Ok enough about the past! Now a year and a half later ..we have gotten back on the fish train ..and as soon as I stepped back on I started doing what is the most important next step ..to just keep offering my little boy tastes of more and more new types of fish and seafood!
This was the third time ever making Smelts ..I LoVe them! ..but the only reason I ever considered doing this is because my local fish Monger pushed them on me promising they were not hard to make! I am SO glad he did! The first time I attempted cooking the little fishes they were fresh off the boat and pre-gutted ..the second time (a year later) they were only ever available frozen in a large bag ..a few tips :
-if you buy Smelt fish frozen you will need to gut them, the first time I tried gutting the fishes I found it messy and stressful ..but because I still had a large bag in the freezer (they are really inexpensive) I was forced to finish the bag ..which is good because I never would have bothered again ..so the third time (see above) I made myself a cup of coffee and put on some good music and gutted them ..halfway through my little boy got privy that I was playing with little fishies and pulled up a stool! While I gutted the Smelt he held them in his hands at the sink and was incredibly excited about the whole affair ..and this made me happy!
<RECIPE>I dredged the little Smelt fishies in flour (all purpose -or- Spelt flour is also nice as a gluten free alternative) and placed them in a pan of half inch high olive -or- canola oil heated to medium high ..they should all be steadily sizzling in the oil and when they are golden turn to the other side to cook golden on both sides ..then they are done! Finished off with a sprinkling of salt and drizzled with fresh lemon ..Super easy and so good! ..oh and a side of yoghurt Tzatziki for dipping :
(3 Tablespoons full fat (10%)Greek yoghurt - 2 Tablespoons Cucumber shredded and squeezed of excess juice - a pinch of crushed fresh garlic - salt to taste - optional:a few pinches fresh chopped dill) mmm
Now the trick to get him to taste the Smelts was certainly from having him help me prepare them! He was SO curious and it carried through to the end. When he first took a taste of the fish I put a fun book on the table ..this kept him at the table longer and sure enough it kept him eating! Eureka! ..this was a strong set of flavours for his -pasta only- loving palate so I put a little bit of orange juice in his water just to keep his palate refreshed ..and as I rarely do this he doesn't seem to remember it and ask for juice often..