Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fool's Day

I usually don't do any pranking on April Fools Day-

It's like Amateur's Day for the serious prankster... Let the newbies get it out of their systems. Serious jokers like Yours Truly are held in high suspicion on AFD...

Anyway- I didn't want anyone to think I was slacking off today so I figured I'd better put something up on the old 'blog...

(This entry should convince most of y'all that I'm a pretty sick puppy...)

I was at Costco the other day and purchased, much to the Shock and Horror of The Woman Who Knows Most Things and the Perfect Child, a 6-can package of sardines in olive oil.

I just loves sardines. I can has sardines nao?

Needless to say, whilst unpacking the groceries a certain amount of slight-of-hand and misdirection was needed so I could squirrel away the brick-o-stinkfish in the pantry.
Alas, one evening last week as TWWKMT was rooting about the pantry she came upon the package of fishes...
"What the HELL is this?"
I raced through the possible answers-
"Hell if I know. I think they're Hunter's..."
or perhaps
"Oh, I forgot to tell you, I bought a dolphin... That's his dinner."
Hmmm... That probably wouldn't work.
I decided to go with the truth.
"I got them- they're mine."
"Well I KNEW that. Why are they here?"
"This is where I keep my food."
"You're not opening them in this house."
Surprise surprise.
She doesn't let me cook fish in the house either. She likes fish, but doesn't like the smell of cooking it in the house.
I guess she felt like she needed to re-educate me on that- didn't need to though.
I'd planned on eating them out on the back patio anyway.

So- there they sit, a little time bomb in tin cans, waiting for an opportunity, say, when The Girls (all of them) depart The Estrogen Palace and are off to one of their family gatherings in Atlanta or South Carolina. Then I shall wrest the tiny fishes from their hiding place in the back of the pantry and consume them-
Normally I'd place them atop crackers with a dash of hot sauce, but as I was daydreaming about them today I wondered if there might be a recipe that calls for canned sardines.
I fired up the ol' Intarwub and went a-Googlin'!


Mario Batali's Fritelle Sarde - Sardine Fritters.

Doesn't this sound awesome?:

2 cans good-quality oil-packed sardines, chopped
2 large eggs
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 bunch parsley leaves, finely chopped plus extra, for garnish
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped pepperonchini
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon grated caciocavallo cheese
Extra-virgin olive oil, to fill a deep pot no more than halfway
Freshly ground black pepper
Lemon halves

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the canned sardines, eggs, garlic, parsley, pepperonchini, bread crumbs and cheese.
Using a wooden spoon stir lightly, not to mash mixture. Set fish mixture aside.

Fill a deep pot no more than halfway full with the olive oil.
Heat over a medium flame until the temperature reaches 350 degrees F.
The oil should remain at or around this temperature throughout the frying process. Using a spoon, make fritters into semi-balls.
When the oil reaches temperature, gently drop the fish balls into the hot oil.
Be careful not to splatter the oil.
Fry each fritter to a golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Carefully remove the cooked fritters with a slotted spoon and reserve on a serving dish. Repeat until all of the fish mixture has been used.
These fritters are best served hot with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.


But- If there's one there must be more...

Ah! Look here...

Beet and Sardine Salad from Epicurious.com

1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon bottled horseradish (not drained)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 (16-oz) jar pickled sliced beets, drained
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (3 3/4- to 4 3/8-oz) can sardines in oil, drained

Stir together sour cream, horseradish, dill, and salt to taste. Cut beets into 1/2-inch cubes and toss with oil and salt to taste. Serve sardines on top of beets with sour cream mixture.

Now- I'm not really into beets, but I'd be willing to give it a try...
But the really great thing about this recipe were the reviews that readers gave it.

They ran from the positive:
A Cook from Toronto, ON-
For those who LIKE sardines and beets - in addition to being a unique and tasty combination - this salad is a nutritional powerhouse. Both beets and sardines (packed in sardine oil, olive oil, or water - not vegetable oil) are wonderfully nutritious - and inexpensive! Enjoy.

to the odd:
A Cook from Palm Beach-
I was very nervous about preparing a dish with Sardines, but I was told I needed to expand my tastes. So I made this salad and I gagged. I couldn't stand the fish, I think I will stick to more normal combinations!

to the bizarre:
A Cook from the great roads of the USA-
I nice addition to this meal would be oven roasted road kill.

to the downright High-larious:
A Cook from Kelowna, BC-
I added some diced lutefisk, some headcheese, and a dash of 10-30 motor oil to offset the tartness of the beets. Life will never be the same

Lutefisk and Headcheese and Sardines. Oh My.

Happy April Fool's Day

TBG, fishing for content-


Luc said...

One thing better than canned sardines in oil: canned octopus in oil. Hmmm hmmm. Used to bring those in High School, instant clearing of the cafeteria ... Ah, good times.

Anonymous said...

Big Guy.... I'd eat whatever YOU were cooking!!
From: The Woman Who Does Most Things!!