Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ambrosia in Unexpected Places - Rillettes aux Sardines

To soar above our proper limits, To open our minds to what would otherwise be impossible, To embrace the unexpected - That is true love.

Some of the greatest delights in life surprise us with their simplicity. Like this scrumptious spread for toast.

Start with fresh baked bread. My favorite is a loaf of italian bread with it's toasty golden crust and soft cottony inside. You'll also need some good quality real non-salted butter.

Rillettes Aux Sardines

- Buy a tin of quality sardines packed in oil. Strain the oil off the tin. Remove their tails, and scale the little fishies by scraping the blade of a smooth knife across their backs, the remaining scales should simply flake right off.

- Then you need to bone the tiny little fishies. So, this time you make a slice longwise (along the spine) of the fish and lift the meat from the bones. If the fish break into pieces it doesn't really matter because you are going to break them into pieces eventually anyhow. Then discard the bones, scales, and tails.

- In a bowl, mash the fish filets with a fork. Shave off four thin slices of the butter, and incorporate the butter into the fish spread with your fork. Sprinkle red wine vinegar over the mixture. You can be generous with the red wine vinegar, but add it slowly incorporating it with your fork as you go along. Test the mixture to make sure it is a thick chunky spread - it should look like crumbled fish, not liquid. Pepper to taste.

- Slice your bread and spread with a spoon. If you're having a party, you can get a fresh baked baguette and make thin round slices that will look trendy and chic.

Rillettes Aux Sardines

- Egouter une boite de sardines à l'huile, enlever la queue des sardines et raper les écailles restantes avec un couteau, puis les couper en 2 dans le sens de la longueur et enlever la colonne vertébrale. Si elles se cassent en morceaux, ce n'est pas grave, de toutes façons on va les écraser. Jeter les queues/écailles/arrêtes et garder la chair de poisson.

- Ecraser la chair dans un bol avec une fourchette. Couper des très fines lamelles de beurre (je dirais 4 pour 1 boîte de sardines) et les incorporer en écrasant. Enfin, arroser le tout généreusement de vinaigre de vin (mais le mélange doit rester assez épais, pas liquide). Poivrer.

- Couper de fines rondelles de baguette. Avec une cuiller, disposer les rillettes de sardines sur chaque rondelle. C'est prêt!

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