1 ½ pounds whitebait
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lard, for frying
Put whitebait to firm in a shallow bowl with ice cubes and a little water. Just before frying, spread fish on a clean tea cloth to dry. Place on paper liberally dusted with well-seasoned flour and dredge with more flour; place in a wire basket, a portion at a time, and shake off surplus flour. Then plunge the basket into very hot lard and fry quickly for 3 to 5 minutes, shaking basket continually to keep fish apart while cooking. Lift basket from fat and shake well before transferring fish to paper towels to drain. Place whitebait on a heated serving dish in a warm oven and repeat until all the whitebait are fried. Season with freshly ground black pepper and cayenne, and serve with lemon wedges. Serves 4 to 6.
Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd., 36 Park Stree, London W1 © Robert Carrier, 1968