22 July 2009

sardines & fennel.

Every time I'm in Worcester, MA I stop at Ed Hyder's, a wonderful little market that carries hard-to-find items like ras el hanout, affordable and delicious anchovies in jars, ten types of feta cheese, Lebanese, Geeek and Moroccan specialties, three grades of couscous, and various sardines, my favorite being Alshark sardines in oil or in spicy tomato sauce.

Tonight I wanted some sardines, but not on crackers. This chow post had a suggestion to broil tinned sardines. One of my favorite fresh sardine recipes is a Jamie Oliver recipe that uses fennel and sardines to make a pasta sauce. So I set to fond something simple that used fennel and tinned sardines.

This used said Alshark sardines, from Morocco. I generally trust/have had the best luck with sardines from Morrocco, Potugal and Japan. (The Japanese sardines are often packed in miso or something else and exact a different preparation).

This is what I came up with:

Marinate a very thinly sliced small bulb of fennel and toss with salt, mustard (I used a coarse, homemade tarragon mustard) and white wine vinegar. Cook some rice (brown basmati is perfect). Place the sardines under the broiler. Get them very very hot. Toss the hot rice with olive oil and serve the sardines on top with a drizzling of sriracha or another hot sauce.

This was terribly satisfying. So much so that I forgot to take a photo.

N.B.: just discovered the Society for the Appreciation of the Lowly Tinned Sardine blog!

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