can you cook canned sardines

- Feb 01, 2018 -

4 Things to Do With Canned Sardines

Usually canned sardines are thought of as a last resort for when you can’t be bothered to cook, but reconsider. Not only is the small, oily, silvery fish inexpensive, easy to prepare, and loaded with things that are good for you, like omega-3 fatty acids and calcium, it’s also one of the most sustainable fish around: The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program lists Pacific sardines as a “best choice” due to their abundance and high production rate. Here are 13 creative serving suggestions.

1. Fisherman’s Eggs

Try this easy and very tasty idea, adapted from The Silver Spoon, for breakfast, or pair it with a leafy salad for a quick supper:

Heat the oven to 500°F and preheat an ovenproof serving dish for five minutes. Place a can of sardines, a small sliced shallot, a few sprigs of chopped parsley, and two cloves of finely chopped garlic in the warm dish. Add some black pepper and put the dish back in the oven for six minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, break four eggs into a bowl, and pour them gently on top of the sardine mixture. Season with salt and pepper and put the dish back in the oven for seven minutes, until the egg whites are cooked but still jiggly. Remove the dish and let it sit for five minutes (the eggs keep on cooking even out of the oven). Set out with toast and hot sauce. Makes 4 servings.

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2. Smoked Sardine Pâté

Cottage cheese and yogurt give this healthy spread a tangy flavor that complements the sardines’ smoky essence. Spread it on brown bread, like CHOW’s Chris Rochelle and his wife Rachel do, with pickles and watercress for a quick lunch:

In a food processor, combine two cans of smoked sardines, seven ounces of cottage cheese, seven ounces of Greek yogurt, and the juice of half a lemon. Blend until just smooth; serve on bread or crackers dusted with cayenne pepper. Makes enough for 6.

3. Sardine Fritters in Lettuce Leaves with Sriracha-Soy Sauce

These sardine fritters are based on a Mario Batali recipe; they’re perfect for a dinner with friends. Serve them with a sriracha-soy sauce (inspired by chef Stuart Brioza):

To make the sauce, whisk two tablespoons of sriracha sauce, two tablespoons of soy sauce, and two tablespoons of fresh lime juice together in a small bowl. Select a handful of leaves from a head of butter lettuce; wash and dry them. To make the fritters, mix together two tins of sardines, two eggs, two cloves of finely chopped garlic, a chopped quarter-bunch of parsley, three-quarters of a cup of breadcrumbs, and two tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Heat about an inch of vegetable oil in a large saucepan till it spits when you put a test crumb in. Make small balls (approximately 1 inch in diameter) of the sardine mixture and fry for three to four minutes until golden brown, turning them occasionally with tongs. Place the fritters on a plate with a kitchen towel underneath to absorb the oil. Place in the lettuce leaves with the Sriracha-soy sauce drizzled on top and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. 

4. Sardine-Arugula Pizza

This pizza, from CHOW photographer Chris Rochelle, isn’t just delicious any time of the day; it’s healthy, too:

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Roll out a disk of premade dough or our Basic Pizza Dough recipe on a flour-dusted baking tray and brush on a thin layer of our Basic Pizza Sauce recipe. On top place a large handful of arugula, half of a thinly sliced onion, two thinly sliced sweet peppers, two cloves of chopped garlic, and one drained can of sardines halved lengthwise. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and liberally apply crushed red pepper flakes. 

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