Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sardine Sunday

I decided I wanted bream for dinner, after its overwhelming success when my parents were here. We waited in line while the fish lady finished with the people in front of us and glanced over the various fish in front of us- didn't look like she had any bream (we were later than usual- managed to sleep in hurray!). I didn't want mackerel as we'd had that last week (simply grilled with a quinoa tabouli). So I pointed to one fish, asked "What's This?". Dover Sole, she replies, lovely like this and like that. Chris and I look at each other, shrug say, "sounds good" and then she pauses.

"It's also our most expensive fish."

Oh. How expensive?

"Twenty pounds a kilo."

(Mackerel is maybe half that.)

I think the look on our faces said that we were not going to be purchasing Dover Sole. So she suggested sardines. Three per person. Cheaper than mackerel. Oily omega threes.

Sardines are not anchovies. But they seem the same to me. I realize they're not - but still... So we buy six little sardines for £2.40. The fishlady chops their heads off for me.

Next day for lunch!

Jamie Oliver says that if you push the sides down around the back bone you can pull it out. I try it. You can! The little rib cages and bones are strangely beautiful and I keep bringing them to show C. I am extremely proud of myself. Not only am I making sardines, I am pulling their backbones out. I rock.

Jamie has a lovely recipe for sardines that requires a bunch of ingredients that I don't have and am too lazy to go down the stairs and to the corner to get. So I improvise.

I fry up the leftover onion and shallots from Friday's risotto and add some garlic and crushed fennel. Peel and seed four cherry tomatoes. One regular tomato would be faster and more efficient, but this is what I've got. A big handful of parsley, chopped. A sprinkling of cayenne. Three heaping tablespoons of pre-made breadcrumbs (I feel like a bad person admitting that I had prepared breadcrumbs in the house. I swear the eggs are free range!). Mixed together with some basil olive oil. A bit thrown on the bottom with some parsley stalks. A teaspoon inside each sardine, then rolled up. The rest thrown on top. Into a hot hot hot oven for ten minutes then taken out and eaten with warmed up pita.

Paired with a glass of lovely Italian white wine - a new one. So good. Such a good lunch. I made sardines - hurray!

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