Tuesday, January 15, 2013

224/984 - Rolled sardines with pine nut and currant stuffing

Degustation second course!

I know I have said it before, but I love cleaning sardines. Being covered in slimy bits and having perfect little fillets of fish at the end...surely that's what cooking is all about.

I checked with the birthday boy before putting sardines on the menu because they seem to have their fair share of detractors. He gave the OK and I am so glad he did! The last sardine recipe I made which can be found here was absolutely fantastic and I didn't think it could be topped. I was wrong.

Lots of fried yumminess went into this recipe - breadcrumbs, pine nuts, garlic. All great once they have been in a pan with a bit of oil. The bits that joined them in the blender were not bad either - a bit of parsley, a small mountain of grana padano cheese and some freshly cracked pepper.

This lovely concoction was rolled in the sardines and secured with toothpicks. I added a bit of extra oil to the mixture to help it stick together but still found it quite crumbly to work with.

I decided to bake rather than fry my little fish on the night of the feast as frying means watching the pan to make sure they don't stick and also turning them mid-way. Baking is so much easier and of course I wanted to relax with a glass of wine between courses. We stayed with the Monkey Bay Chardonnay for this course and it didn't take much coaxing to ensure the glasses were drained in readiness for the next.

This dish actually evoked groans of pleasure from the diners and even the littlest participant came back for his second and third little fishy parcel after telling me how much he did not like sardines!

The only thing that stopped the adults fighting him for them was the knowledge that there were six fabulous courses to come.

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