Isn’t that such a great name, Eddy Sprats! I am really tempted to write a book about a character called Eddy Sprats, but in fact apparently ‘eddy sprats’ is a way of cooking sprats, those oily little fish of the Sprat family – yes, their Latin name is Sprattus Sprattus, although other small oily fish are called that too as a sort of common all-purpose name.
So a recipe for ‘eddy sprats’, which I have, is a way of cooking them without frying them as they are already as I mentioned, ‘oily’. Why this is the name of the recipe I can’t discover, and in fact, I can’t find it anywhere else. In my old cookery books sprats don’t even appear very often, and when they do they are just fried. The recipe I have explains that ‘ordinary fried sprats are too rich and greasy for many people. No dripping is used in this method, only salt, which absorbs the grease as it comes from the fish’… Maybe the person who wrote the book (it’s anonymous, I’m afraid) had invented this recipe for someone called Eddy who had troubles with digestion… or maybe they themselves were called Eddy, we may never know. So here we are, eddy sprats:
- 1 lb sprats, cleaned, filleted, washed and drained
- juice of 1 lemon ( I guess you could use the zest too)
- cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp salt
- heat a frying pan then sprinkle in the salt
- lay the sprats on the salt and do some more sprinkling this time with some of the lemon and cayenne
- cook very slowly for about ten minutes, turning and sprinkling a couple of times
- serve on a hot dish, garnished with lemon (or just sprinkled with the zest)
There are a couple of frying recipes as well, in once the cleaned, filleted sprats are coated in seasoned flour and shallow fried (probably in dripping), the other one is to skewer the fish through the gills area, then dip them into boiling fat – deep fry in other words… I think on the whole Eddy sprats sound the best!