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Fried Fish with Garlic Sauce

Fish in such an attractive shape makes an excellent first course.

ingredients

serves 4
900 g (2 lbs) fresh anchovies or whitebait
120 g (4 oz) plain flour
60 - 90 ml (4 - 6 tbsps) cold water
Pinch salt
Oil for frying

garlic sauce

4 slices bread, crusts trimmed, soaked in water for 10 minutes
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
30 ml (2 tbsps) lemon juice
60 - 75 ml (4 - 5 tbsps) olive oil
15 - 30 ml (1 - 2 tbsps) water (optional)
Salt and pepper
10 ml (2 tsps) chopped fresh parsley
Lemon wedges for garnishing (optional)

method

1. Sift the flour into a deep bowl with a pinch of salt. Gradually stir in the water in the amount needed to make a very thick batter.

2. Heat enough oil for frying in a large, deep pan. A deep-sided saute pan is ideal.

3. Take 3 fish at a time and dip them into the batter together. Press their tails together firmly to make a fan shape.

4. Lower them carefully into the oil. Fry in several batches until crisp and golden. Continue in the same way with all the remaining fish.

The fish should be eaten immediately after frying. If it is necessary to keep the fish warm, place them on a wire cooling rack covered with paper towels in a slow oven with the door open. Sprinkling fried food lightly with salt helps to absorb excess fat.

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