About 6 cups vegetable or canola oil for frying
2 cups all-purpose flour
18 fresh smelts or 16 fresh sardines, cleaned, heads removed
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied
1 pound sea scallops
1 pound fresh small squid, cleaned, bodies sliced into thin rings, tentacles reserved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 lemons, cut into wedges
Italian Tartar Sauce
In large shallow skillet over moderately high heat, heat 3 inches of oil until thermometer registers 350°F.
Transfer flour to large plate. Sprinkle all seafood liberally with salt and pepper. Working in batches and returning oil to 350°F between batches, dredge seafood in flour, shaking to remove excess, and fry until golden and cooked through, about 20 seconds per side for whole fish and shrimp, 15 seconds per side for scallops and calamari. Using slotted spoon, remove as done and drain on paper towel–lined plate.
Garnish with lemon wedges and serve immediately with tartar sauce.