Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lime sardines - grilled or baked!

The sardines, derivative of Lorenza di Medici, were delicious yesterday, but what will I do with the rest of the sardines? I had a look at a few recipes, mainly in Greek books, and then went back to my bible for ideas, Stephanie. I don't think I have cooked many of her recipes, but I love her this goes with that column under each of the topics and often pull the book down for inspiration.

Finally I decided that I would marinate the sardines this afternoon and then grill them this evening. I thought about various combinations from Stephanie but then decided to focus my marinade on the limes that I had on hand. Sardines are oily and strong flavoured and need something to balance that. Lime juice should do the trick and I really like lime juice. I finally settled on a combination of lime juice, olive oil, ginger, garlic, coriander and Sambal oelek (hot chilli paste).

Of course, the first trick was to secure the kitchen from the cats who were going berserk about the sardines yesterday ;>) and still aware of something very interesting in the fridge. Stephanie suggests always cooking sardines outside because of next day's smell, but I don't have a barbecue so I shall have to bear the consequences, I thought as I prepared the marinade. Then as I was putting the bowl with the sardines and the marinade into the refrigerator, I had an idea. These would be delicious baked in this marinade with potatoes. So I'll offer two variants for this recipe. And to obviate the need for grill cleaning and a sardine-smelling kitchen, I'll make the baked variant tonight.

Lime sardines

12 sardines (cleaned, headed, and butterflied)
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Sambal Oelek
1 teaspoon crushed ginger root
2 cloves garlic crushed
Chopped coriander to taste
Two potatoes (for option 2)

Mix together all the marinade ingredients. Place the sardines in a bowl. Pour over the marinade. Allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

For grilled lime sardines:
Heat the grill until it is very hot. Place the sardines on the grill skin side up. Brush with the marinade. These should be cooked in about two minutes. Serve with green salad and olive bread. Serves two for a main meal, or can be served as part of antipasto.

For baked lime sardines:
Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius. Peel and chop each of the potatoes into about eight pieces and add to the lime and sardine mixture. Bake for 80-90 minutes until the potatoes are tender and have absorbed the lime mixture. If you partially pre-cook the potatoes, you could speed up the process but the long cooking allows all the flavours to permeate beautifully. Serve with green salad. Serves two for a main meal.

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