February 17, 2011

Chris Mooney's Sardine Tartines Platter

As my prize for winning January's Culinary Smackdown Battle - Salmon for my Smoked Salmon Cardamom Spread I received a copy of French Taste: Elegant Everday Eating by Laura Calder. You can imagine how giddy I was when this cookbook finally made it's way into my hands. That very moment I put everything else on hold and set out to bookmark recipes I just had to try.

"Sardines are what you wanted to try first?" I'm sure that's what you are thinking. Being that I am easily overwhelmed when a decision comes down to more than two choices I normally make the first recipe that I've bookmarked. Maybe someday I'll break my habit and select a recipe from the middle of the book. Just the thought alone makes me shutter at this very moment.

Chris Mooney is no one to me. I don't personally know the guy but Laura Calder does. It's a friend of hers from Paris and he had invited her to dinner at his home one night and served sardines on a platter in a tin. Laziness or just breaking the norm she thought of him as a "culinary Kate Moss".

I would have served the sardines in the tin for the sheer reason that I wouldn't want to clean more dishes than necessary. In fact, I prepared this Sardine Tartines Platter as my lunch. A fantastically light lunch it was. I've only recently expanded my canned fish repertoire since starting this blog beyond tuna in water. Anchovies and now sardines. Sardines rank highest on my list in the canned fish category. Less bony than the anchovy and much more flavorful than the tuna.

Courtesy from the back of my Wild Planet's Wild California Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil box: Sardines provide "three times more calcium and phosphorus than milk, more iron than cooked spinach, as much protein as steak, and as much potassium as bananas."
The Sardine Tartines Platter had the drained sardines surrounded by toasted baguette slices, lemon wedges, cold butter, Fleur de sel, and pepper. I tried the suggested serving and decided that the butter was lost or not even needed. The sardine is the star. The baguette provides a great vehicle for the sardines and the squeeze of lemon and a slight sprinkling of Fleur de sel was all that was needed. While eating this I felt like I was transported to a bistro in Paris without the scarf and beret. A light lunch but perfect as an appetizer as well.

 Chris Mooney's Sardine Tartines Platter
French Taste: Elegant Everyday Eating
Makes 4 to 6 Servings

Stars of the Show:

  • 2 tins sardines packed in olive oil
  • 1 baguette, sliced and toasted
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • cold butter
  • pepper
  • Fleur de sel
And Action:

Open the tins of sardines and drain off the oil. Set the tins in the center of a large platter. Arrange the toasted baguette slices and lemon wedges around the sardines. Serve with the cold butter, a pepper mill for grinding over the top, and a dish of Fleur de sel. Provide knives so everyone can dive in and assemble their own sardine tartines.

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Don't forget to link your recipe for the Culinary Smackdown Battle. You only have 11 days now to do so. Get that entry in by February 27, 2011. Mr. Sideline Chef and I will be announcing the winner the following morning. Best of luck!


Brenda said...

Rochelle, you make me laugh! I was actually eyeing this recipe as Joe LOVES sardines and I've learned to like them too (once I got by the smell). This actually sounds like a good way to eat them and yes, they're incredibly good for you!

Pretend Chef said...

Brenda - If you and Joe both love sardines than this is perfect. So yummy!

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