Sardine Salad with Feta and Bulgur

You’ll notice that yes, this recipe is a whole lot like the last one. The last one, Sardines with chick peas and feta, is more Mediterranean, this variation is more Turkish, Persian. We are swapping out the chick peas for a good portion of bulgur wheat. Pack this with a cold-pac and it travels well… it is picnic season as I’ve mentioned previously.

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 course bulgur wheat
  • 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

First, let’s get the bulgur wheat going. To prepare the bulgur, take one and a half cups of strongly boiling water into a heavy glass bowl, then add the bulgur and two or three tablespoons of olive oil and a juice of half a lemon. Stir together and let stand for about fifteen to twenty minutes. It’s just like making French-style couscous.

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 the bulgur wheat mixture, cucumber, feta, olives, lemon zest and the other half of the lemon’s 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. And yes, this still goes well with a Duck Walk white.

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.

Simple Creole Shrimp and Rice

Well, the local stop and shop has a big sale on shrimp… so it must be shrimp season somewhere, and lately, I have been hankering for some Creole style shrimp and rice. I find that this dish is very welcoming to changes and adapting to clearing out some of those spices in the cabinet.

Here’s what you’ll need:
• 1 pound of frozen medium shrimp
• 1 medium onion, chopped about 1/2 cup
• 1/2 cup chopped celery
• 1/2 cup chopped green sweet pepper
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 small can diced tomatoes, undrained
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper depending on your heat tolerance
• Pinch of chili powder
• 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
• 2cups hot cooked rice

Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Peel and devein shrimp, removing tails. Rinse shrimp; pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.

In a large skillet cook onion, celery, sweet pepper, and garlic in butter over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in undrained tomatoes, paprika, salt, and cayenne pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 8 minutes or until thickened.

Stir shrimp and parsley into tomato mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque. Season to taste. Serve over rice. Along side of a nice bottle of blue point’s best to cool your pallet