Sunday, February 14, 2010


I’ll be the first to concede that sardines - them little fishies that come packed in a flat can - might not be everyone’s favorite snack.

Even if you get all fancy and call ’em sprats, pilchards, or brislings (all various types of small fish that are packed and sold under the generic term “sardines”), they’re still off-putting to many. Oily and fishy. Not exactly what you’d call a breath-freshener... unless you’re a cat.

Me, I love ’em.

Even when I was a young Snot-Nose, I liked these smelly little guys. A sardine-and-cream cheese sandwich was a perfectly tasty luncheon, even if eating one would cause the other kids to sit farther away from me in the school cafeteria.

As an adult, I would often bring a tin of sardines to work. The ones in tomato or mustard sauce were good low-calorie protein sources, perfect for a mid-day meal... at least, on those days we weren’t going out for barbecue or Mexican food.

Once in a while - generally when She Who Must Be Obeyed isn’t around - I’ll open up a 15-ounce can of those humongous sardines in tomato sauce, the ones we used to call “tomato herring.” Those puppies are huge, and completely unlike their tiny, flat-canned brethren. Only serious sardine-lovers need apply.

A few days ago, while I was trolling my blogroll, I happened upon Neener, who had written a post about Alton Brown and a fishy sandwich creation of his: the Sardicado Sandwich.

Alton Brown and sardines in one sentence. That got my attention.

The good Doctor Brown has, apparently, adopted the Stink-Fish (packed in olive oil) as one of his weapons in the fight against Fat-Ass, consuming them three times weekly. Sure, they’re a bit oily, but it’s good oil: olive oil, which contributes to “good” cholesterol, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are heart healthy. They also pack a solid protein punch and, owing to the fact that you eat them bones and all, plenty of calcium as well.

As for the Sardicado Sandwich, Brown calls it “Sherried Sardine Toast,” probably because his recipe includes sherry vinegar. But you can use white vinegar or cider vinegar if you prefer, and the results will be quite pleasing. That vinegar, along with lemon zest, jacks up the sardines’ flavor, and the whole thing is mellowed out by the addition of avocado. Yes, avocado!

Sherried Sardine Toast

I built a brace of these bad boys this afternoon, and I have to say they’re superb. Even the Mistress of Sarcasm - no sardine lover she - was brave enough to essay a taste. Only thing is, Hakuna has been following me around the house ever since I had lunch.

Check it out. The recipe is here. And don’t let my scary, snarky post title put you off - this stuff is really good!

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