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Speaking of SARDINES...how do you eat them?

liu Mar 22, 2006 04:29 PM

I saw a wonderful post -- if you scroll down you will see it, too! -- on the best sardines to buy. Thanks for all this information!

I love sardines with mayo, but in trying to watch the fat, what other ways do you enjoy your sardines? I saw a post not long ago that suggested crumbling some Saltines on top -- that was delicious! Today I tried them with some of my favorite Maille Dijon Originale mustard and that was pretty good...("mustard" -- another good post for the future!)

So, how else do you enjoy sardines? I can't wait to hear your ideas!

  1. c
    Candy Mar 22, 2006 05:18 PM

    When I lived in northern New York state we used to be able to get a rye bread called Millbrook Dutch Dill. Sardines on that with just plain old yellow mustard was a treat to me. I like them on crackers with mustard too. But what I really like and is impossible to get where I live is fresh, grilled sardines, just a little oilve oil and lemon is all that is needed.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Candy
      liu Mar 22, 2006 06:43 PM

      Hmmm...sounds interesting. Thanks for the ideas!

      1. re: Candy
        moto Mar 23, 2006 03:08 AM

        hello, the fresh whole fish are the best. If they're too large to have munchable bones post grilling, the bones/spine are large enough to easily peel out of the filets. They usually cost half as much as the next cheapest wild fresh fish (around here, those would be sand dabs). cheers

      2. j
        JBC Mar 22, 2006 05:19 PM

        Someone or somwewhere, I can't remember where, suggested using them as the "meat" topping to a spicy garlicky red sauce over pasta. I did it, enjoyed it, and will do it again soon.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JBC
          e.d. Mar 23, 2006 05:16 PM

          Don't know if it was me, but I have long loved sardines (especially Monterey Bay canned sardines in tomato sauce) as part of a red sauce for pasta. Makes a nice substitute for ground beef or Italian sausage.

          The last time this topic came up, someone else talked about St Joseph's pasta sauce, a red sauce with sardines and fennel and raisins. So the last time I cooked my sardine red sauce I put a couple bulbs of fennel, fennel seed, and raisins in it and it was quite good and distinctive. So good in fact, that I invited friends over to share the leftovers.


        2. s
          Shep Mar 22, 2006 07:09 PM

          Good crumbled into or onto a salad, a la anchovies. You'd want to use lemon juice rather than vinegar.

          Great tossed with the pasta of your choice, maybe with fresh plum tomatoes and basil.

          Sublime on white bread with Dijon mustard and sliced red onions.

          If they're water-pack, they'll be good in your instant ramen. If they're oil-pack, they're tasty on toast.

          Pile 'em on pizza, bake 'em in a pie, with green beans and corn in a nice stir fry. Any way you eat 'em, you can't beat 'em, sardines, that's what I means.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Shep
            liu Mar 22, 2006 07:52 PM


          2. m
            Mike R. Mar 22, 2006 07:21 PM

            Here's one I hope you'll try:

            Get a can of QUALITY sardines like King Oscar "two-layer" or Season Norwegian Brisling in OLIVE OIL; Carefully remove the fish and spread them evenly on a large slab of PAIN D'AVIGNON SOURDOUGH or other boutique bread with a hearty crust; Cover the sardines with a liberal helping of Swiss Gruyere cheese and a teaspoon of crushed garlic; Make certain to drizzle some of the remaining olive oil on top; Place face up to the broiler side of the oven for about 7 or 8 minutes on 450 degree heat; When the silver turns to gold, pull it all out, dust with a tad of grated Parmesan or Romano and enjoy!

            FYI: You can also experiment with the flavored variations, tweak the bread (I happen to enjoy the 'dines on fully-soaked-through Arnold Oat Bran bread) and change the cheese (Cabot White Vermont Cheddar/Extra Sharp is excellent).

            Mayo? Dijon? IMHO: YUCK.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Mike R.
              liu Mar 22, 2006 07:50 PM

              Oooh -- this is, uh, beyond what I could imagine to do with a sardine! And yes, I am drooling!

              1. re: Mike R.
                moto Mar 23, 2006 03:01 AM

                hello, with you on omitting the condiments, but the acidity of fresh tomato goes well against the fats (dairy, fish,olive), or sour pickle slices. cheers

              2. b
                brooklynmasala Mar 22, 2006 07:27 PM

                someone on this board, years ago, recommended sardines on rye bread with cream cheese and cucumbers. It is very good.

                1 Reply
                1. re: brooklynmasala
                  liu Mar 22, 2006 07:47 PM

                  I like this idea...the cream cheese probably softens the sardine taste...nice!

                2. t
                  The Hungry Traveler Mar 22, 2006 07:48 PM

                  I love putting them either in a whole wheat pita or on Swedish Rye crispbread (easily found at Ikea) and then topping with Japanese pickled ginger.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: The Hungry Traveler
                    liu Mar 22, 2006 07:53 PM

                    "Japanese pickled ginger" -- great idea for crunch!

                  2. a
                    annie m Mar 22, 2006 08:13 PM

                    I love them as a "picky" sort of snack. Sardines, cheddar cheese, olives, pickles, some crusty bread.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: annie m
                      Shep Mar 22, 2006 09:22 PM

                      Oh, nice. Like a "Ploughman's Platter", except maybe a "Seine-net Fisherman's Platter.

                      Add cornichons, a couple radishes, slice an apple, and a good bitter ale and you are there. I could do this at work, except the bitter.

                    2. d
                      Deenso Mar 22, 2006 08:38 PM

                      Probably the least exciting response you'll get, but I love skinless & boneless sardines just on a plate with a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and maybe some finely chopped onion.

                      1. c
                        CulinaryKate Mar 22, 2006 09:57 PM

                        Being a person that has had plenty of internal organs in her life time, I have never had a sardine in my life.... How do you prepare them in the simplist of terms? Are the bones soft enough to eat, so you have to pull all the meat off? I know that many consider "fish heads" to be a delicacy... Can you give me a step by step??

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: CulinaryKate
                          Mike R. Mar 22, 2006 11:25 PM

                          Them bones are a snap...and are loaded with calcium. The only time you get concerned with boneyness is when you have some charcoal-grilled fresh large ones, when, unlike the cooked-in-can type, the bones haven't softened up...can be an annoyance for the amateur.

                          1. re: Mike R.
                            pinstripeprincess Mar 22, 2006 11:47 PM

                            if you like trout then you already have more than enough patience for sardines.

                            whole, down the hatch, chew chew chew for tinned ones. i personally just love to eat them straight.

                            Link: http://tongueandcheek.ca

                            1. re: pinstripeprincess
                              rworange Mar 22, 2006 11:55 PM

                              Yeah, for canned sardines, eat the whole thing. I have never seen a head, but I read that a few canned sardines are packed with heads.

                              I don't like a lot of spine though and noted that for some of the brands. For the most part the Portugues and Norwegiean brands don't have objectionable spines. I think the Canadian sardines are more likely to have larger spines.

                              For fresh sardines, I was always asking that question until I was served a plate where the spines were just too big to eat. So that sort of is my standard, if the bones are too hard, I just eat the meat.

                              For fresh sardines I only had heads on once. I asked the chef and she said it was up to me. Some people ate them and some people didn.t So I ate tham and it tasted just like the rest of the sardine.

                          2. re: CulinaryKate
                            liu Mar 22, 2006 11:52 PM

                            I also eat them right from the can. Scroll down and read the post that discusses the best brand of sardines to purchase. Open them, drain the oil, and eat them as per the instructions on this post.

                            Try them with a little mayo on some crusty bread...add lettuce, tomato and red onion as desired. Or, there are many other ways suggested here.

                          3. s
                            Sharuf Mar 23, 2006 04:37 AM

                            Get some whole-wheat or multigrain bread. (My TJ's has a terrific crusty sourdough version.) Lightly spread some mayo, top with sardines, then with sliced or mashed avocado. A little salt, a grind of pepper, then eat open faced.

                            1. m
                              Michele Cindy Mar 23, 2006 06:09 AM

                              I take a can of Season Bristling sardines, place in a dish, crumble saltines over them, add a hefty squeeze of lemon. Sometimes I drain, sometimes I don't. Once in awhile I will add a bit of chopped onion.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Michele Cindy
                                liu Mar 23, 2006 12:37 PM

                                Perhaps you are the one who recommended this online on another post. Well, I tried it -- so simple -- AND SO DELICIOUS!!! Thanks! I never would have thought of this by myself, but the crackers/lemon/sardine mix is wonderful!

                                1. re: liu
                                  Michele Cindy Mar 24, 2006 06:25 AM

                                  Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed them this way.

                              2. g
                                galleygirl Mar 23, 2006 07:41 AM

                                Black bread, layer of water-packed Sardines, layer of sliced hard-boiled eggs, layer of roasted red pepperes, mustard, another slice of blaCK, OR PUmPERNICKEL

                                Link: http://www.bistrodraw.com/

                                1. l
                                  liu Mar 23, 2006 01:00 PM

                                  This has been great fun, and I am looking forward to trying my sardines in so many new ways that you have suggested here!
                                  Thanks, Fellow Hounds, for all your terrific responses!!!

                                  1. w
                                    Will Owen Mar 23, 2006 01:26 PM

                                    Back when I had a real job, I would occasionally run to the grocery store at lunch time and get a can of sardines, a carton of cottage cheese and a box of Ritz crackers. Then I'd break up the sardines into the cottage cheese and use the crackers to spoon the mess out. If I do that at home, sometimes I chop some green onion and add that too, and maybe a dab of mayo.

                                    I love sardine sandwiches - I prefer them on good French or Italian-style white bread with plenty of mayo and a good smear of Dijon mustard. Maybe some Swiss cheese.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Will Owen
                                      The Moxie Boy Mar 28, 2006 09:32 AM

                                      I open the can and use a fork.

                                      Too messy to just use my fingers.

                                    2. j
                                      jilli42 Mar 23, 2006 02:45 PM

                                      Nothing exciting here, but I like sardines (in hot sauce) on saltines. My granfather used to eat that for lunch sometimes and introduced me to it. Plain & simple but delicious !

                                      I have also cooked Linguine w/ White Clam Sauce using sardines instead of clams. It was very good.

                                      1. l
                                        lipps Mar 24, 2006 02:36 PM

                                        2 little sardines on a cracker with a slice of cucumber on top. A squirt of fresh lemon juice and a dash of salt

                                        1. m
                                          mikle May 19, 2006 11:39 AM

                                          this website is great

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