clearing out the larder

Many people have mixed or negative feelings about one of the most delicious treats ever, sardines. Maybe you had a bad experience with them when you were a kid. Maybe you think they smell bad or are too salty (you might be thinking of anchovies which are packaged in a similar way and just as delicious but less versatile.) I’d urge you to take another look at sardines. Not only are they fairly inexpensive, they are also full of healthy fats and considered a “brain food”; you can learn more about sardines here. There’s also this cool blog of a chef based in San Fransisco.

Anyway, on Monday night we were hungry but not starving. After a long day of spring cleaning, I was ready for a delicious snack. Luckily I snagged this cookbook, Dave’s Dinners, a Fresh Approach to Home Cooked Meals, the last time I went to say hi to my mom in Evanston. It’s one of my dad’s favorites, and I’ve been consistently impressed by the quality and simplicity of the recipes. This time we decided to try the fried sardines. I know! I know! It sounds questionable. Imagine tiny fresh gourmet fish sticks and you’ll get a good idea of what fried sardines taste like when prepared correctly. Delicious! I modified the recipe as follows:

Ingredients:

1 can sardines
1/4 and 1/3 cups flour (to be used seperately)
1 egg
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 cup oil

For Sauce
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup dill relish
juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
10 grinds fresh pepper

Directions

For the sauce: squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon into a bowl. Mix in mayo,relish, and pepper. Place in fridge while you cook the rest,so it tastes delicious and cool when you use it as a dip!

1. Gently remove sardines and place on plate.
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2. Take 1/4 cup of flour and sprinkle over sardines- flip sardines over so both sides are covered.
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3. Mix cornmeal and remaining flour in bowl. Lightly beat egg in different bowl.
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4. Dip each sardine in egg, then dredge through cornmeal/flour mixture. Place on plate to prepare for frying.
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Heat up oil for about 5 minutes so it is sputtering. Gently slide each sardine into oil. Fry for about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on paper towel to absorb excess oil. Let cool for a few minutes and place on plate with sauce in seperate bowl. Squeeze fresh lemon over fried sardines and enjoy!
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