Sunday, April 17, 2011

No, We Didn't Smoke Anything

This looks like a college dorm snack, doesn't it?
I had sardines on saltines many times in school, usually late at night. I loooved the mustard, because I have a sour tooth. But my suitemate Ann taught me an embellishment I have used ever since: she dribbled drops of vinegar on the sardines, to amp up the tang. (What we were doing with vinegar in the dorm I don't know. This, I guess.)
The sardines back then were pathetic, swimming in some hideous oil, but we didn't know of anything better. The saltines were simply saltines, and they still are (though now with less salt).
We happened upon a brand of wild California sardines packed in olive oil recently. It's upscalio, four bucks for four ounces. I think it's worth it, though. The fish are firm and intact. Large, good smell. The brand is Wild Planet.
Here's the deal. You already know how to make classy sardines on saltines (with homemade mustard and a squirt of Spanish sherry vinegar). The deal is, save the good olive oil from the can! Pour it into a jar and refrigerate it. You will undoubtedly think of something to use it in. Spaghetti? I'm doing that. Other things will come to mind. If you have an idea, share it, please.   :)    {smiley face}    ☺

25 comments:

cookiecrumb said...

SPRING CAN BEGIN ANY TIME NOW, THANK YOU

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

I think your upscalio sardine oil would be nice drizzled over some baby lettuces...a little meyer lemon juice, some s&p. I also love your spaghetti idea. It reminds me of one of my favorite spaghetti dishes (anchovies AND sardines -- hubba hubba). Have I already mentioned this one to you? It's inspired many versions in my kitchen. http://racheleats.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/oh-crumbs/

cookiecrumb said...

Denise: Bingo! Salad. That sounds wonderful, and thanks!
The spaghetti recipe you linked to? OMFG. That is IT IT IT. {smiley face}

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Yes, it all makes me smile too.

Marie said...

I think I read about a man who uses the oil from smoked trout as a way of adding flavor to potatoes in Deborah Madison's What We Eat When We Eat Alone. I might've imagined that, so don't quote me, but I am like 85% sure that's where I read about it. I've never done it with any canned fish leftover oil, but maybe one day (I've been eating a lot of canned sardines these days, love 'em)!

cookiecrumb said...

Hey, Marie: That does sound familiar. I only got about one-third of the way through that book (zzzz) but some of the ideas were good.
And. Can you go wrong with canned sardines? I welcome myself to your world!

Little Pots & Pans Co. said...

I love the idea of a base for a salad dressing! The first thought that came to my mind was a sort of riff on a bagna cauda (or even a straight up aioli of sorts) mmm... whipped oils :-) Really, just pass the bread.
Oh, and it makes a great supplement for your pooch too.

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Use for the oil, use it to lightly fry garlic and smashed cauli & brocci, toss through pasta, nommy!
And Saltines? Pish, I raise you this http://bit.ly/dXIxyS (uber nom).

Zoomie said...

Sardines are our friends. So many good ways to enjoy them. http://zoomiestation.blogspot.com/search?q=sardines

soti said...

Actually, this is a great ouzomeze, meaning a small appetizer to accompany the greek ouzo. Try it, judging by your style (writing as well as eating) you're probably one of us!

namastenancy said...

Now you've gone and done it again! Told just everybody about the best brand of sardines in the world. I make my version of Salade Nicoise with them - that is when I'm not using good Italian tuna, packed in oil. Whip that oil into a mayonnaise for the salad, serve with crusty bread and enjoy1 (I'd better go out and buy myself a stack of those tins because I am sure there will now be a run on them since you spilled another Nancy Sekret to the world.
Humph!

kudzu said...

Even though I'm not fond of sardines (so shoot me), I think that rescued oil would be great in a potato salad, maybe with green beans and spring onions in it. Hmm. Fancy that?

Greg said...

Afraid to try those wonderful sardines. I already have a pretty big anchovy habit. Smoke em if you got em.

cookiecrumb said...

Little Pots: Bagna cauda is a natural. Naturally, I didn't think of it. So good, thanks. And... whipped oils?!!!

Mouse: Ha. I would never have thought to COOK with the oil. So brilliant. (Your flatbread wins, of course.)

Zoomie: All credit to you for alerting me to these great sardines.

Soti: No, I am not Greek. :( But you are my first Greek blogger! Such beautiful photos.

Nancy: Two votes for sardine mayonnaise! I feel faint, that is so psychedelic.
(Blame Zoomie.)

Kudzu: Fancy that? I can practically taste it now. Yes on the green beans. Perfect.

cookiecrumb said...

Greg: I've got the anchovy lust too. There are some some spectacular French ones at Whole Foods in the fish department.

Heather said...

Oh! I always save the anchovy oil, too. It's great in meatballs. Oh, I know: use it in homemade mayonnaise.

(I just saw that other people already thought of that.)

cookiecrumb said...

Heather: I feel so dumb. All these great ideas. Well, yahoo, from now on.

Kat said...

What about using it as a base for sauteing greens? Like saute some crushed garlic and red pepper in the oil, then add your kale (or chard, etc)?

cookiecrumb said...

Kat: Sounds like another winner. Jeez! (Huzb just bought six more cans of the stuff.)

newfie said...

I like to lightly cook my sardines under the broiler and serve spritzed with a little lemon juice.Also delicious.

cookiecrumb said...

Newfie: (Are you a Newfie?) Keep in mind that these were canned sardines. I'll bet you have access to wonderful fresh ones.

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

I just devoured a can of these. Fantastic!

cookiecrumb said...

Denise: Yeah, this is a good product. Pantry staple, ya know?

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Yes, it is odd that I am awake at 1:00 AM and reading a sardine box. I'll blame it on Stella Bakery. They shouldn't have served me coffee so late in the afternoon. Anyway...I just noticed these are caught in CA and then processed in Vietnam and "lightly smoked" means they've added aqueous natural smoke. I feel a little snowed by the well positioned "California Coast" and "Sustainably Caught" on the label, but this other info is on the label too, albeit in very small print. I didn't read the entire label before my purchase. Oh well, now we know, and the choice is ours. I'm not claiming all I buy is local, I just like to know what I'm buying. Time for bed.

cookiecrumb said...

Denise: Oh, hell. I didn't know that. Why on earth must they be processed in Asia, and WHUT wit the fake smoke? I hate them now.