Posts Tagged cooking

Jul 22 2011

Why Sardines Should Be at the Top of Your Grocery List

Note – California’s sardine fishery reopens September 15.

By Owen Burke

The truth about sardines is that they are probably one of the healthiest finfish you can eat from the sea. They are hardly ever farm-raised, which means that they swim and eat as they please and are rich in vitamin D3, your Omega-3′s and purines. Large apex predators like tuna and swordfish and salmon are known to accumulate excessive levels of heavy metals, while sardines may contain up to 8 million times less mercury than even salmon.


Do you ever wonder why it is that, especially in the United States, many people avoid eating sardines? Aside from the fact that they are usually associated with a tin can on a grocery shelf, sardines, or pilchards, are quite oily and bony. The sardine is, however, a very healthy option. Sardines feed on photosynthetic plankton, so as lighter consumers, they acquire very minuscule concentrations of heavy metals than most larger, more commercially sought predators do. Because of their diet, sardines are rich in omega-3 oils, protein, good cholesterol, selenium, and calcium and fluoride if you eat the soft bones.

Often sold at around $2.00 USD a pound, they are certainly cheap enough for most of us, too.

There are about 21 different species of sardines, all belonging to the Clupeidae family, but they can all be prepared the same way. The best way to have sardines is fresh, of course, and this will thoroughly reduce the “fishy” smell left behind. If your fish aren’t scaled, do so carefully with a knife, removing the entrails afterwards. As with most fish, the best marinade is simply olive oil, lemon and parsley. If you toss them on the grill afterwards, you’ll add a nice charred flavor to the fish, while also keeping the smell out of the house.

Read the rest of the story here.

May 17 2011

Squid with roasted tomatoes and black olives

By Skye Gyngell

The combination of sweet tomatoes and salty black olives is a favourite of mine, and is a lovely match with squid.

20 small, ripe tomatoes

6 sprigs of oregano, leaves only

tbsp good-quality red-wine vinegar

A little olive oil for drizzling

800g/1 lb of the freshest squid

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

I handful of wild garlic, well rinsed

A handful of black olives, preferably niçoise,

Get the rest of the recipe here.

May 12 2011

Grilled Sardines and Okra with Black Garlic Aioli

Grilled Sardines 5.50€ / Marisqueira O Varino Nazaréphoto © 2009 Yusuke Kawasaki | more info (via: Wylio)














Contributed by Hoss Zaré


  • ACTIVE: 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6Grey-line

Black garlic, one of chef Hoss Zaré’s favorite new ingredients, is fermented so it has a sweet, molasses-like flavor and it’s rich with antioxidants. He blends the black garlic with mayonnaise for this dish but using roasted garlic puree blended with balsamic vinegar is equally tasty. If fresh sardines aren’t available or if you’re in a hurry, make this dish with good-quality canned sardines; they’re already cooked so there’s no need to grill them.


Our Pairing Suggestion

Beer Light-bodied kölsch: Gaffel.

Wine Salty, spritzy Muscadet.


Get the full recipe here.


Apr 19 2011

How to Make Sardines in Olive Oil

eHow contributer Chelsea Hoffman recently posted steps to make sardines in olive oil.

1) Add the sardines to the canning jar. A full cup of sardines is close to 1/4 of a lb. Purchase your sardines fresh from a reliable source, making sure they’ve been properly cleaned before canning them.

2) Pour the olive oil into you canning jar. Add the carrots, onion, garlic and optional crushed red pepper to the jar. The crushed red pepper will give the sardines a spicy bite.

3) Secure the lid on the canning jar and shake the solution for a few seconds to mix the ingredients together.

4) Put the stockpot, half full of water, on the stove and bring it to a rolling boil. Place the jar into the pot. Let the water boil over the jar for 30 minutes. Not only does this cook the ingredients, but the hot water will seal the jar, making it airtight. This is known as a “hot water bath,” when canning foods.

5) Turn off the stove and remove the hot jar from the water, using the canning tongs. Sit the can on your counter and allow it to cool to room temperature. This takes up to eight hours, or sometimes more, depending on the temperature of the environment.


Apr 13 2011

5 Steps to Better Choose Sardines

sardines in a canphoto © 2011 jules | more info (via: Wylio)

Recently James Stuart, a contributor to eHow, posted five steps to picking out sardines. Here are the highlights:

1) Consider where the sardines were caught. Check the label and see if the country is listed. If not, check the company’s website. Knowing where the fish was caught can tell you about the practices that were used to capture it. Check fishing laws to see if that country uses methods you’re comfortable with. It can also help you identify what kind of sardine you like, as regional differences affect the taste of the fish.

2) Check the brand. Different brands may use different fishing methods, and will likely have a reputation. You can check websites such as that will tell you which brands are sustainable.

3) Look at the price. If your main concern is money, go for the cheapest brand. Ensure that the cheapest brand uses fishing methods and packaging that you’re comfortable buying.

4) Look at the packaging. Check to see if there is excess or unnecessary packaging that could hurt the environment. Ensure everything is recyclable.

5) Check the nutritional label and compare. If nutrition is your primary concern, comparing labels will help you select the healthiest brand of sardine.

Read more: How to Choose Sardines on

Apr 11 2011

Recipe: Broiled Sardines With Lemon and Thyme

By Mark Bittman, The New York Times

FOR years, the only kind of sardines available to the average American were packed in oil, water or tomato sauce, sold in little rectangular cans, first with keys and later with pop-tops.

But because they’re plentiful and not endangered as a species (and full of healthful omega-3 fatty acids), fresh sardines are enjoying something of a renaissance. It helps that they’re delicious and inexpensive.

You’re likely to see them on the menus of fancy restaurants, usually as appetizers and usually “grilled.” I use quotation marks because what restaurants advertise as grilled sardines are usually broiled, for two reasons. One is that few restaurants are equipped to do real grilling. The other is that it’s extremely difficult to grill a sardine. Their flesh is so fragile they fall apart. (Wrapping them in grape leaves or paper-thin prosciutto slices is an option, but that process is a pain and decidedly unnecessary.)

Read the rest at the New York Times.