Search this blog


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sardines in Piment d'Espelette Olive Oil

When life hands you apples... well, marinate some fish!
Life has been handing me lovely delicate little surprises such as piment d'espelette olive oil.  There must be something going on around my aura that screams PIMENT D'ESPELETTE LOVER wherever I go.  I can randomly go somewhere for work or just to pick up some potatoes at a friend's house and come home with fresh piment d'espelette from a garden or some piment d'espelette olive oil.  Why?  I don't know.. but I'm not going to as many more questions because I don't want it to stop!  By the way, if you know me in real life, know that I do not like flowers, I'd rather something edible.. but if you know me, I don't need to explain that..
This is insanely similar to my Marinated Anchovies, but also quite different for in this method, there is only one "bath."  The lemon juice and olive oil cure the filets instead of going through a vinegar cure.
1 kg (approx 2 lbs) fresh whole sardines
juice from 1 lemon
3/4 cup piment d'espelette olive oil or other chile infused olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
few pinches fleur de sel
few cracks black pepper
flat leaf parsley for garnish
1.  Filet the sardines by cutting off the head and tail, then splitting it through the belly.  Carefully remove the central bone, then rinse and pat dry.  This step takes longer with sardines than with anchovies, I learned.  I thought I'd spend about 30 minutes on this part but ended up spending an hour and a half.  Do plan ahead.
2.  Prepare the marinade by whisking together the olive oil and lemon juice.
3.  Arrange the sardines, skin side down in a container.  Sprinkle some fleur de sel, pepper, and some garlic slices, then pour on the marinade until level.  Continue layering on the sardines and marinade until you don't have any more left.  If you run out of marinade, just add more lemon juice toward the end.
4.  Let marinate at least 3 hours.  I let mine overnight in the fridge.

Serve garnished with some parsley and just a touch of the marinade over the top.
Again, I'm not sure about the etiquette on how to eat these, but I have a tendency to just use my fingers.  I think some people may eat these with some steamed potatoes or slathered on some crusty bread.  I approve of all these methods.
What I enjoy (as with the anchovies) is that the real sardine taste is preserved.  Of course, this is completely different than grilling them, and the flesh doesn't have that "cooked" feel.  The best part about this is being able to rediscover one of my favorite foods in a completely different way.
Print Friendly and PDF

No comments:

Post a Comment