Tag Archives: sardines

Butternut Squash Crumble + Sardine Rillettes

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Wow, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind! A mix of work and fun. The work: my husband was in trial for week followed immediately by him being out of town for a week. The fun: a “parents-only” trip to Yosemite and then a two night (very relaxing) family trip to the Lake Tahoe area. Whew!

I still found time to cook, as always. Being able to cook keeps me grounded when the rest of life gets crazy. I have two Cook the Book Fridays recipes to share with you this week: Butternut Squash Crumble and Sardine Rillettes (the official title in the book is “sardine spread”, but I like the sound of rillettes better).

Butternut Squash Crumble:

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Butternut squash is one of my husband’s favorite vegetables, so I knew this recipe would be a winner. I did have to make “his and hers” versions though. My husband is off grains, so I topped his version with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped sage. I topped mine with the cornmeal crumble topping as written.

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This was good! It made a great side dish to pan-roasted chicken breasts but would also be at home on a holiday table. I loved my version, my husband loved his version, and my daughter loved both versions. Can’t ask for more than that!

Sardine Rillettes:

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Sardine Rillettes were a very easy appetizer to throw together. Canned sardines are smashed together with cream cheese, butter, green onions, capers, lime juice, and a few spices. Spread on crackers or bread and enjoy!

I liked this very much. The flavors all went very nicely together. My daughter seemed to enjoy hers and my husband thought it was “fine”. Which means he will eat it, but not request it.

I packed up the rillettes-filled ramekin and took it with us on our Lake Tahoe trip. It was the perfect easy appetizer to enjoy while relaxing and playing games.

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FFWD: Sardine Escabeche

Sardine Escabeche

Happy French Friday!  I’m sad to say, this is the first of the final four recipes from Around My French Table.  But, the French Fridays with Dorie crew has some fun “celebratory” weeks planned, so I will have to start poring through the book (and my old blog posts!) to remember my favorites.

This week was one of the “scarier” recipes: Sardine Escabeche. It calls for fresh sardines. Not something we see very often in the United States.

I had originally planned to make this recipe for my parents when I was visiting them in Seattle a few weeks ago. I thought it might be easier to find fresh sardines there, and I knew my audience would be more receptive. Wouldn’t you know, I couldn’t find the sardines (I didn’t look very hard, but I targeted my search to a likely source). At least I was still able to make them the delicious Salmon Tartare. Who would have guessed it would be easier to find fresh sardines in land-locked Reno? A fish guy at Whole Foods told me they keep them frozen in the back, so even if they aren’t on display they often have them.

Sardine Escabeche

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, even after reading through the recipe. The sardine fillets are dusted lightly with flour and cooked quickly on the stove. Then they are basically left to pickle overnight in a mixture that includes cooked onion, carrots and celery, olive oil, tomato paste, a few herbs and spices, and distilled white vinegar.

Verdict? I liked it! It made a satisfying lunch served with crusty bread to sop up the sauce. I am sure my parents would have liked it. The only problem is, I kept wanting to be sitting outside in the sun next to the Mediterranean with a glass of white wine while eating this!

Sardine Escabeche

If you decide to try this recipe and need to fillet your sardines, this video by Jamie Oliver was very helpful (thanks, Mardi for sharing!). It was a lot easier than I expected.

I will see you next week with the final dessert from AMFT. Have a great weekend!

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Sardine Rillettes

For this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, the Doristas got brave and chose a slightly scary recipe:  Sardine Rillettes.  Rillettes are a meat- (or fish-) based spread eaten as an appetizer.  Rillettes are traditionally a very rich dish made from pork, goose, or duck, though lighter rillettes made from fish, such as salmon or sardines, are now common.

This week I am visiting my parents in Seattle, so they and my sister got to be the taste testers.  My husband, who is not always a very adventurous eater, was surprisingly disappointed he would not be able to try this dish.  Sardines sounded good to him.

I was surprised how big the sardines were - only 3 to a can!

To make Sardine Rillettes, cream cheese is blended with finely chopped shallots, green onion, lemon juice, fresh herbs, and a pinch of piment d’Espelette.  I was able to harvest fresh parsley and chives from my Dad’s garden!  Next, the sardines and mashed into the cream cheese mixture to form a smooth spread.

I served the Sardine Rillettes with some basic crackers, which were the perfect foil for the complex flavors.  It was a big hit!  I loved the briny flavor of the sardines mixed with the crunchy bite of the minced shallots.  The lemon and herbs rounded out the flavors.

The quality of your sardines are very important to the success of this dish.  My mom said she had made this once before and didn’t like it very much.  I got some higher-quality sardines and she really liked it this time around.

Let’s see how many Doristas tried and liked this dish!  To see the other results check out the “Leave Your Link” post:  LYL: sardine rillettes.

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