For the life of me, I can’t seem to find a recipe that features sardines as its main ingredient. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried. I’ve scoured the internet from Food Network to individual cooking sites in an effort to prove that sardines can be a main ingredient to a dish. Alas, I’ve come up empty. To me, the results make for good fodder for today’s Freedom Friday post.
One afternoon last fall, I was hungry. The family was away and I was looking to make something that would tie me over until dinner. I didn’t feel like a full lunch, but at the same time, my hunger was strong enough to warrant a hot meal. First thing I did was head to the pantry. I could have gone into the freezer and thawed one of those ready-made burritos, but like I said, I was looking for something light. Besides, a burrito does all sorts of funky things to my stomach that I didn’t want to experience.
Anyway, I came across a package of spaghetti and a jar of marinara sauce. I thought, “great, it would be the perfect meal.” A small bowl of pasta with some sauce would be enough to keep me active for a couple of hours. Then, with the package and jar in my hands, I eyed the shelves for some protein. I could have gone for the nuts, but I wasn’t in the mood to sit at the table and supplement my meal with another course. That was when I saw the can of sardines.
For those unfamiliar with the taste of sardines, let me tell you. The texture is mushy. The flavor is strong. They’re a great source of Omega-3’s, fatty acids and protein, but they do nothing to stem the flow of a good appetite. That’s my opinion.
I thought, “Hey, why not try it out.”
The pasta went into the water, the sauce went into the pan and the can opener hit the sardines next to the stove. Twenty minutes later, while mixing the sauce into the pasta, I added half a can of sardines.
My nose should have warned me. I didn’t take a hint very well. It was awful, just awful. I had all I could do from tossing my innards.
From that moment on, it’s been my quest to find the ultimate sardine recipe. And honestly, the only one that comes to mind, other than eating out of a can, is sardines on a bed of salad topped with a butter sauce. Unbelievably, that’s all I could find. There was no epiphany to stir my culinary creativity, no magic bullet to hit me with the idea of the century, and no wonderful mix of vegetables and starches to compliment the marine treat.
I just couldn’t find anything.
So now, I ask you all. Do you have a sardine recipe that will surprise and equally shock me into believing in miracles?
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RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE SEARCH FOR PARADISE, on sale October 20.
What have you done with sardines lately to make them special? Is it possible to have sardines as a main ingredient in a dish?