I have taken a plunge into unknown waters. I have roasted sardines!
These are not sardines out of a can, much as I enjoy those. These are sardines that came frozen in a bag from Price-Rite.
Yikes, they have eyes! Once I encountered a fish with eyes in Toronto, at Honest Ed's. I am afraid I threw the eye across the room. That is a story for another day. My friends were kidding me about it just yesterday, how about that?
What about Fish Eye wine?
I actually find that brand rather off-putting!
It is difficult to find any recipes involving sardines because the world being dumb, most people are put off by them. They do not like the name or something, who knows.
The same can be said for anchovies. I order Caesar salads a lot when I am out, and 100 percent of the time now, they arrive without anchovies. Nobody even asks you if you want them. You have to remember to ask and then they look at you as if you are crazy.
Back to my sardine adventure. I think I just arranged them on a baking sheet with garlic and lemon. I put them in a neat row, packing them in like, well, like sardines. I roasted them at 400 degrees for something like 10 minutes.
These are humble little fish and I figured they would be ideal for Lent. I think when Christ multiplied the loaves and the fishes, the fishes must have looked something like these sardines.
They did look mighty pretty on the plate. Eyes and all. I am sorry, sometimes you just have to serve the whole fish.
That is the rewarding and artistic part of my story. However, I have to say my experiment was not a success and I will not be roasting sardines again.
They tasted good. That was not the problem. It was just difficult to get a mouthful. There were too many bones and the bones were not soft and chewable as I had been led to understood they would be.
In addition, when you subtracted the head and the tail, there was not a lot to eat. And there were parts of the fish which, when you bit into them, you would taste something bitter. I think these sardines should have been more prepped. When you shop at Price-Rite anything is possible.
It is good to explore options like sardines because in general the price of fish is through the roof. Even catfish is something like $8 a pound. That is unacceptable, I am sorry. I mean, why don't I just buy steak?
Something smells fishy! Oh, that reminds me of another big point.
These sardines, they really did smell fishy!
I am not squeamish in this department. I love cooking fish and that worry that it will make your house smell fishy, that has not been true in my long experience.
However these sardines smelled fishy. And the leftovers continued to smell fishy in the fridge.
The moral of the story: Some things are just better in the can.
Sardines are one!