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The fish that gets no respect


Fresser
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Sorry I'm late to the party, Fress!

Ellen: Your mom, my dad. He also ate limburger cheese on very rare occasions.

I had not channeled the sardine-eating part of my dad's personality until about two years ago. Now I do so in fits and starts. I have yet to try King Oscar, which everyone recommends, but I do have a tin in the pantry. There is also a Portuguese brand sold locally where the fish are packed in tomato sauce spiked with hot sauce that I like.

The King Oscars are packed in tomato sauce.

I love 'em but confess to having never put one of the tinned varieties in my mouth.  Grilled or marinated fresh, though, they're great.

Here's a thread for anyone who can find the fresh guys at their local fishmonger.

I'll check this thread out later. John Yi at the Reading Terminal Market had fresh sardines on display today.

Love the fresh ones, you can have my share of the tinned.

If you're ever in the neighborhood, stop by 40 Sardines, where they are always on the menu in some form and always delicious.

11934 Roe Avenue?

That was farmland way back when I lived in the area.

I note that a) they are currently a $10 appetizer and b) they need to fix their PDF generator--it's cutting off the bottom of their pages.

Season brand, packed in olive oil, for me! My mother used to get some really great sardines from Italy when I was a child. They were bigger than the sardines I find in tins these days. You got to use a key to open the lid. I adored them.

What is it about a tinned sardine that begs to be wedded to a slice of onion? My daughter prefers canned tuna. Feh. More for me! :laugh:

I find a Stoned Wheat Thins cracker to be a fine sardine carrier.

Sardines are also one of the few foods I don't think are improved by adding cheese.

I remember that first thread now. I guess things really do go round in circles.

I'm glad I have a private office. No one complains about the sardine smell when I eat them at my desk. They are a really good source of portable, ready-to-eat protein.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

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Backumm many years ago, when the drink of choice was Jim Bean and Coke, I've been known to eat five packs of the King Oscar sardines that come with six saltine crackers in a cellophane packet stapled to a card that hung on the wall in Texas bars... Salty snack with a sweet drink; YUM!

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119 & Roe Avenue?

That was farmland way back when I lived in the area.

You need to ditch Karl and get around more on your next visit

Edited to fix quote and add a word. :rolleyes:

Edited by moosnsqrl (log)

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

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In April I'll be moving to a small New Brunswick village, just up the coast from where Connor Bros can sardines in huge quantities. I'm hopeful that, since many of the local fishermen supply that monolithic cannery, I'll be able to buy a few dozen fresh ones here and there to put on my menu.

After eating several dozen myself, for experimental purposes, of course... :raz:

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"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Love, Love, Love sardines. Yes, King Oscar rules. Great on a sandwich moistened with the oil from the can or some mayonaise. I also like the nasty, cheap Mexican ones packes is hot tomato sauce. For a while you could get some brand (can't remember) packed in oil and HOT chilis which was one of the hottest commercial products I can remember and they were great. Maybe they were too hot to be commercially successful because I haven't seen them for a few years. On a more sophisticated note, this weekend I had a great app at a Mediterranean restaurant on Divisidero ST. in San Francisco which was meatballs made from ground sardines in a nice spicey red sauce with olives and tomatoes. I wanna go back and do it again. Love sardines.

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After reading about the wonders of sardines on this thread, for lunch yesterday I took Wasa Bread and spread a very thin layer of cream cheese. Laid on thin sliced tomatos and sides of big Spanish sardines. Grated red onion on top. One was not enough - had to make another.

Thanks for whetting the canned fish appetite - sardines had sort of fallen off my food choice radar and I am thrilled to have them back.

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I did not grow up with much canned fish beyond canned tuna. Grad school changed that for me :biggrin:

One of my favorite things to do with water-packed sardines is to drain off the water, and make a garlic vinaigrette for them (just to up the stink factor!) I gently fry some thinly sliced garlic in olive oil until softened and lightly golden, then add in some acid- usually lemon or lime juice. Optional add-ins:

-honey or OJ (for sweet-and-sour balance)

-Dijon or whole-grain mustard

-minced thai bird chili or Sriracha (maybe both!)

Pour over the little fishies, grind on some pepper, cover, and let marinate as long as you can stand it. Usually I devour straight from the can :blush:

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I was in a small Italian market yesterday looking for some good crusty bread. Didn't find the bread but saw a can of Agostino Recca salted sardines. I thought of this tread and the fact that I do like, but eat infrequently, the little tins of sardines found in most grocery stores. Okay I thought these should be great. I wanted to make some crostinis for people coming over and thought the sardines would be something different as a topping. These are heavily salted. I rinsed one and bit into it. Very salty and the bones were bigger than the ones in the little cans. Okay I don't think I will serve these tonight. I just don't think the people coming over will appreciate them but want to know how to best prep and serve this type sardine for my personal use. Do they need to be soaked in water to remove some of the internal salt? Help!

I did use some of the pinkish large crystal salt to flavor some white beans that I made for the crostinis. It gave a little sea taste to the beans.

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The tinned 'sardines' in salt pack from Italy need to be washed in water to remove the surface salt, soaking for a while is also OK. Then filleted off the bone and use like anchovies. I used to purchase the salted tins of anchovies but found them too small and the work too tedious to fillet, the 'sardines' are larger and much easier to work with.-Dick

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this is a Cambodian snack served on those egg sized mottled green and white eggplants I just slice them up and they are eaten raw ..like a cracker for the dip... very tasty combo!

here is the method

one can of drained bristling sardines in olive oil

one fine minced jalepeno pepper

juice of one lime

mash it all up well and spread on the eggplant slices ...

this sounds delicious. I will have to wait until summer when I can get my hands on the little eggplants, which I've never eaten raw. My ignorance is on full display here, I've never thought of sardines and asian cuisines--and there was another suggestion above for sardine bahn mi, which also has my mouth watering.

Are canned sardines a taste that you have to grow up with, or can you aquire the taste as an adult?

Come to think of it, I suspect my willingness to try anything remotely edible comes from the "weird" stuff I loved eating with my grandparents! :smile:

I never had a sardine until I was 30 yrs old, one of the tinned variety, and it was love at first bite. The fresh grilled sardines are another food product altogether. I rarely pass them up when they are on the menu. but I always loved stinky foods--salt cod, blue cheese, etc. even as a kid.


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As 'small fry' we were fed sardines on toast. I'm begining to believe that an early introduction to the joys of tinfish really helps with later appreciation.

Sardines are fine, but if you should ever chance upon tinned Portugese Chicharrinhos picantes, do not fail to pick up a tin or three. Quite possibly everything you enjoy about sardines, but more so. That's how they are for me, anyway. The tin has an English translation which calls them 'spiced Sticklebacks' but they most certainly are not those denizens of murky city-park ponds. A mackerel fry of some sort, I think. Sold hereabouts under the "Realfish" name.

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King Oscar sardines, yellow mustard, saltines and ice cold milk

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I think I like a plate of really fresh grilled or fried sardines about as much as any other fish. But there's little I find more repulsive than canned sardines. The smell is bad enough, but the texture....like fish oil flavored sludge. *shudder*

:blink:

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-Lea de Laria

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Other people are doing my marketing these days, and someone got me a tin of King Of The Sea sardines to try. This variety is Sunflower Oil with Herbs. When you open the tin, the first thing you notice is the faintly spicy aroma. Then you notice a small, perfect little flat round of carrot, sitting atop one of the sardines. I immediately forked that tiny morsel up and bit it, WOW! Delicious! A bit saltier than I am used to, with an unusal piquancy to it, peppercorn with something extra, not exactly hot sauce, really good, and layered with bay leaf flavor, too. I then put the sardines onto a plate of chopped greens, poured the oil over that, and added some lemon juice to the salad. Really good!!!! The ingredients say that these sardines are seasoned with chili, bay leaf, salt and pepper. No mention of the carrot slice. Hmmm. Secret ingredient, eh?

I admit, these are not as much an all around sardine as my favorite Season sardines are, but they are truly excellently flavored.

More Than Salt

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I had some fantastic grilled sardines at a Portuguese restaurant in Montreal whose name escapes me. Also, at a Korean place in Glen Burnie, along with all the banchan and a bubbling cauldron of egg-custard soup that appeared on the table were a pair of longer, deliciously charred, crispy oily fish. The servers, who didn't speak much English, never really answered my question as to what type of fish they were, but I was thinking maybe smelt? Is smelt related to sardines?

I like this one brand of canned Portuguese sardines called Bela Olhao, the plain kind packed in olive oil. They're cheap, firm and definitely not "fish oil-flavored sludge."

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Respect the Sardine!

I eat tinned sardines almost every day for my office lunch. They're amazingly healthy and provide me with lots of calcium, they're cheap and, between the sardine sarnie lunch and porridge with water breakfast, not only is my cholesterol fabulously low - but i can sometimes enjoy things like this!

without too much ill effect

the sardine sarnies also keep my boss a safe distance...

Anyway, I eat Waitrose tinned sardines in tomato sauce on organic wholemeal bread - when lettuce turns up in my riverford veggie box, i add that too.

but lo!

My local Waitrose in Canary Wharf has not stocked any of the tinned sardines in tomato sauce for almost 3 months. :shock: this has led me to sample the sainsbury's brand sardines in tomato sauce (sludgy and wrong-tasting) and the marks and spencers sardines (fabulous, but twice the price, and my closest M&S at More London doesn't seem to stock tinned fishy things regularly).

So, i've moved on to waitrose tinned sardines in olive oil and the occasional waitrose italian sardines 'al limone' and 'al picante'. very nice - but NO BONES! Hell, i only eat the fishy critters for the bones!!!

But i've got lots of new ideas for them now - onion! garlic vinagrette! crackers...mmmm

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Inspired by this thread I decided to pick up some fresh sardines in the market on Saturday. I love tinned and fresh, but didn't really have access to the fresh before, except on holidays to Portugal! The market is about a 20 second walk from my front door, so I hopped on over and asked for 4. I missed the price the fishmonger said, so I just gave him a 5 euro note. He asked me if I have the 50 cent in change, but I only had 41. I asked him if he wanted it and he said yes, so i handed it over, expecting 2 or 3 euro change back. I was mortified when he handed me back the 5 euro note - my shopping had come to 41 cent AND I bargained with him about it!! :blink: I felt like such a cheapskate! They were delicious though :wub:

Can anyone recommend a particularly good brand of Spanish tinned sardines?

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Niamh,

How wonderful to be able to pop out and buy fresh sardines - and so cheap! How did you prepare them?

With all the great tinned fish coming out of Galacia and the Basque area, I can't imagine that any any Spanish sardines wouldn't be delicious!

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When I first saw this topic headline I thought it was referring to mackerel, not sardines. That's because two days before the topic started, Mark Bittman in his Minimalist piece in the Times used that headline (at least the video on the website did) to offer a mackerel recipe.

I think a strong case can be made that mackerel gets less respect. Just look at the grocery shelves of tinned fish: lots more sardine selection than mackerel! (I'll grant you that mackerel may be more prevalent than sardines at your local fishmongers, but when the latter are available at my fish store at Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market, they usually display nearly as much sardines as mackerel.)

Right now is the perfect time for mackerel as they move inshore. The spring run is underway and, if you live anywhere near the coast along the Mid-Atlantic, very fresh fish should be available of both the Boston and Spanish varieties, which are closely related and can be cooked in the same ways. Recent prices at my fishmongers were $2.49 for Bostons and $2.99 for Spanish. (The Boston's western Atlantic range runs from North Carlina to Maritime Canada; the Spanish mackerel's range runs from Cape Cod south into the Gulf of Mexico. So, if you live in the Mid-Atlantic area, you generally can get either one.)

Because it's an oily fish (related to tuna, btw) it works well with acidic accompaniments. Bittman's recipe was poached in a Japanese inspired soy-based liquid liquid spiked with sake (or sherry) and vinegar. I think mackerel also has an affinity for tomato. (As a pre-schooler, I recall my mom baking it with a can of tomato soup.) Just plain baked with some lemon works for me, too. It's a rich, delicious fish. Properly cooked, avoiding absorbing too much of the pan butter, you can even do a sauté meuniere.

When it's not the height of the spring run, even though fresh mackerel is pretty much available year-round, I enjoy salt mackerel, which is generally imported from Canada. I can find it at most of my local supermarkets packed as filets. It's not dry, like baccala, but wet packed after being sufficiently brined, like many herrings. After soaking I treat it like I would fresh, though the flesh tends to be pleasantly firmer.

How do you enjoy mackerel?

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Don't want to turn this into a mackeral thread, but when working on a fish-processing vessel off the NW tip of Washington State we caught lots of Pacific mackeral (and sardines) as bycatch. The Filipina chef would cook them, just spiced on the outside, in a hot pan so that the skin was crispy. Absolutely stunning, and I'm wondering if I can do something similar with the Spanish mackeral on sale at my local fish market?

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Unfortunately the only sardines I have been exposed to are the tomato-sauced packed in a can ones from the Philippines. Brands would be Ligo, 555, etc. I love the plain ones, my parents love the spicy tomato sauce ones. It's perfect over garlic fried rice during rainy days or as a midnight snack. Also great as a pan de sal sandwich filler.

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