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August 14th, 2007

recipe: Sardines in Escabeche

Escabeche is an ancient way of preserving fish, small birds, meat, even vegetables. In Spain it remains popular. We like small, finger foods best – quail, partridge, and sardines.

Sardines in Escabeche

Serves 4

2 pounds fresh, whole sardines
2 1/4 cups olive oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white wine vinegar
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
4 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
4 bay leaves
12 whole black peppercorns

Gently scale the sardines with a knife. Remove the head and guts in the following manner: hold the sardine with one hand and with the other rock the head first upwards breaking the neck, then downwards, and finally firmly pulling it towards you drawing out the guts. Run a finger through the cavity to make sure it is clean. Rinse well with cool, running water and pat dry.

In a large skillet heat 3 tablespoons of the oil. Salt and dust the sardines with flour. Fry over moderate heat until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn gently to avoid breaking the skin and fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a rectangular earthenware, ceramic, or glass dish. Lay in the sardines side by side, alternating head-tail directions so that they fit snuggly together.

While the sardines cool, in a (non-aluminum) sauce pan, bring the rest of the oil, the vinegar, garlic, thyme, paprika, bay leaves, and peppercorns to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly .

Gently pour the marinade (including the herbs) over the fish.

Once completely cooled, cover, and refrigerator for at least 1 day and as many as 10. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving and serve them at room temperature.

Posted by jeffkoehler in  recipes  |  

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