Thursday, July 23, 2009

Were They Worth It?

You are probably asking yourself if the trauma of cleaning the sardines was worth it. While it wasn't the most delightful thing I've ever done, read on:

You will want to have all the prep work for your dinner done before you begin to grill the sardines, as they are small and will cook very quickly - even a few extra minutes will make them dry rather than richly moist.

I wanted to serve mine with garlic toasts and on a bed of Mediterranean vegetables, so I rubbed the baguette slices with a cut clove of garlic (both sides) and set them aside to grill with the fish.

In a wide frying pan, I sautéed in olive oil some sliced onions, anise, sweet peppers, shallots and zucchini together with a handful of fresh lemon thyme leaves, then added about half a cup of rosé and left it to simmer until the veggies were no longer crisp but still firm.

While the veggies bubbled away, I laid the bread slices on the grill for a quick sear - don't leave them even for a minute or they will be burned. You want them striped with rich brown but not blackened.

To barbecue fresh sardines, start the fire in one side of the barbecue and leave the other side "cool." When the coals are gray, place your little fishies on the grill with the head end toward the coals and the thinner tail end toward the cooler area. Grill them for about 3-4 minutes per side - when their golden oil begins to bubble out, they are done.

Spoon a nice serving of veggies onto the plate, top with 2-3 sardines and artfully place a few of the garlic baguette slices. Once the sardines are cooked, the bones are easily removed - just slide your knife along the spine to lift off the fillet cleanly, then lift out the whole skeleton in one piece.

If you like mild, white fish best, like halibut or sole, you may be surprised by the muscular taste of fresh sardines. They are strong little critters, but full of oils that are good for you and smoky, delicious flavor. To me, they were totally worth it....several hours later.

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2 Comments:

Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

Yummy, totally worth it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Morgan, yes, delicious!

Friday, July 24, 2009  

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