Feast of the Seven Fishes #3: Fried Sardines with Spicy Pepper Remoulade

by BiteSizedJessica on December 20, 2012

Fried sardines © 2012 Jonathan MeterI love mayonnaise. Any excuse to put it on something, and I’ll take it. Anything that can be used to carry mayonnaise, I’ll eat. So this post is mainly about mayo, and the fried sardine is really just an added bonus, acting as an extra special VFM – vehicle for mayo.

Mayonnaise at its most basic is egg yolk, Dijon, lemon juice, and oil. I love making mayo at home, as long as I have some super fresh, organic eggs on hand. I like to use plain homemade mayo on sandwiches, and I love adding herbs, diced peppers, capers, olives, and anything else I can think of to make it interesting. No matter what, my mayo always has a zested clove of garlic, lemon juice and a big spoonful of Dijon.

A remoulade is a mayonnaise-based sauce that also contains ingredients such as paprika, chopped pickles, and capers. For this remoulade, I added hot peppers, capers, chives and parsley. I lightly pan-fried the sardines skin side down until they were crispy. Sprinkled with sea salt and served with a wedge of lemon, a fried sardine is one of the tastiest vehicles for mayo I’ve found so far.

Ingredients:
Serves 4

4 whole Portuguese sardines, filleted
½ cup Wondra flour
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the Remoulade:

1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 tbsp Dijon
1 cup oil, at room temperature
1 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, zested
1 shallot, minced
1 small Serrano pepper, diced
1 small hot red pepper of your choosing, diced
¼ small habanero pepper, diced (be careful! Wear gloves)
1 tbsp capers, chopped
1 small bunch thyme, chiffonnade
1 small bunch chives, minced
Salt and pepper

Remoulade © 2012 Jonathan Meter

What to do:

For the Remoulade:

      1. Separate the egg yolk from the whites, discard whites or save for another use.
      2. Add the Dijon and whisk until fully combined. Then, very slowly begin to drizzle the oil into the egg, whisking continuously to create an emulsion. Whisk and drizzle until all the oil is combined.
      3. Add your remaining ingredients and whisk to combine.

For the Sardines:

      1. Fillet your sardines if you bought them whole, or quickly rinse in cold water if you bought fillets.
      2. Coat the sardines in some tasty, flavorful olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle lightly with Wondra flour – it has a lower level of proteins and produces a nice crust on fish without clumping up and getting lumpy in the pan.
      3. Heat  small frying pan on medium heat and lightly coat with olive oil. Fry the fillets skin side down until crispy, about 2-3 minutes.
      4. Transfer cooked fillets to a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Serve fillets hot with Remoulade and lemon wedges!

Sardines Lightly Flowered © 2012 Jonathan Meter

 © 2012 Jonathan and Jessica Meter

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren @ Whatever's Left January 18, 2013 at 7:12 am

I adore sardines when they’ve been grilled or fried. The sardine is such an underrated fish with a bad rap from the canning process, it’s heart warming & mouth watering to see them be put to good use. I’ll have to give this recipe a try at some point x

BiteSizedJessica January 18, 2013 at 11:41 am

I agree Lauren. So many people think they don’t like sardines just because they’ve never had really good fresh ones before. It’s a shame! Always trying to change that stereotype.

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