You probably didn't know this, but in my past life, I lived on the Mediterranean Sea. Yep. I was a fisherwoman. My family will attest to the fact that I merely have to place a fishing line in the water for fish to happily impale themselves upon my hook. Which must be why I have such a love and respect for seafood. You know, because of my former fisherman lifestyle. My newest seafood love, you ask? Sardines. You should try sardines. They are inexpensive, they are SOOO good for you, and they are delicious. And if you want to be one of those whiny people that claims that sardines are TOO FISHY....then fine, your loss, more for me. But I challenge you to at least TRY them before you make some silly assumption about something you've never even put into your mouth. (Sorry...I could rant for days about how irritated I get at people who say they don't like something they've never tried).
Back to the little fishies. The very first time (in my current life) that I ever really tried a sardine was inspired by Alton Brown. He did an episode about his 50-pound weight loss and he made a sardine and avocado sandwich that looked so delicious, I had to try it. And that, my friends, is where my (current life) love of sardines was discovered!
I was fortunate enough to come across this stack of sardines at Costco a few months ago and they were only 5 bucks for 5 packages (the above picture is minus a package...the very package I used to write this blog, yes). They're very versatile. You can turn them into fritters (who doesn't like fried fish balls?), mix them in with pasta, cook them with eggs, put them on pizza or add them to salads, etc.
Here's what I did in my frantic rush to eat something before a long night of work.
My sardines were boneless and skinless. This really is the best way to buy them if you don't want to skin and de-bone them. Or if you don't want to chew through the bones. They have little annoying bones that can be quite sharp. So if you can find them skinned and boneless, for heaven's sake, do yourself a favor. Also, having them canned with olive oil makes them taste so much better.
Here's What To Do:
Open your sardines and pour them and the olive oil into a small bowl. Flake with a fork to break the fish up. Chop some garlic (I used a clove for 1 can) and add it to a hot pan with olive oil and cook it until lightly browned to get rid of that bitter, raw, garlic taste. Add crushed red pepper to the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add in the fish and olive oil mixture and just mix it all together with a little squeeze of lemon. Then top your favorite cracker with the sardine mixture and eat.
Mmmm...now that I'm typing this, I had a new thought. If you mixed this sardine mixture in with some goat cheese or cream cheese, it would be even BETTER on a cracker. OOH, and if you added parsley or chives to that mixture!!!
Oh sardines, you just keep coming up with better and better ideas! I love you. See you on the seas, good buddy!