Sardines with Feta and Chick Peas

This is an appetizer / salad course fresh from the sustainability desk, a somewhat Mediterranean inspired salad that incorporates canned sardines, chick peas, and feta as its prime components. If you are not a big fan of the chick peas, wait until I post a twist on this tomorrow. Pack this with a cold-pac and it travels well… it is picnic season as you know.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 to 3 cans of sardine fillets

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground cornmeal (or substitute equal amount flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (1 16-ounce can) chickpeas, drained
  • 2/3 cup diced, seeded cucumber
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup pitted and sliced black olives
  • Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives

Carefully lay sardine fillets out on a towel and pat dry. Make coating by combining flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and cayenne. Set aside.

In a medium bowl stir together chickpeas, cucumber, feta, olives, lemon zest and juice, mint and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange equal parts of salad base on six plates.

Dredge sardines through flour mixture and set aside, ready to be fried. Heat remaining olive oil over medium heat in a fry-pan large enough to accommodate the sardines in one or two batches. When barely smoking, carefully lay in sardines, working in two batches if necessary to avoid crowding. Sizzle fish in oil about 30 seconds on each side then carefully transfer back to dry towel to drain. Now, a word of caution here, make sure the pan is hot. This prevents the extremely delicate fillets from sticking.

Stack the fillets on top of each salad and sprinkle with a pinch of chopped chives and a few cracks of black pepper.

This does indeed go well with a Duck Walk white.

Blarney Stones

So, my brother suggested that I spend the time from now till St Paddy’s day sharing my many Irish recipes. I told him it’s a blog about Long Island food, and he reminded me that Ireland is a rather long island. Well, its hard to argue with logic like that so…

Blarney Stones – my version of Guinness battered scallops. Here on Long Island we have access to rather fresh scallops. However, there are times when you get scallops that are ‘less than optimal’. When this occurs, coating the little mollusks in a beer batter is a tasty cover-up.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ½ lb bay scallops
  • 1 cup self rising flour , split in half
  • ¼ cup self-rising yellow cornmeal
  • 1 can Guinness
  • 5 -6 dashes hot sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • oil (for frying)

Rinse the scallops and drain to a towel.

In a large bowl, mix 1/2 cup of the flour, the corn meal, hot sauce, salt and pepper with enough beer to make a batter a little thinner than a pancake batter.

Put the remaining flour in a plastic bag, add the scallops, close the bag and shake well to coat them evenly.

Remove batches of the scallops, coat well in the batter and fry in the pre- heated oil until golden brown.

Remove the scallops from the oil and drain on paper towels.

These go wonderfully with my tartar sauce…