Sunday, 2 August 2015

´Tis summer, the season of sardines and Sriracha

Surprise ,Surprise!!!
One of the (many) joys of writing a cookery blog is that the recipes can be 'of the moment', a fleeting idea, a temporary distraction from the hum drum repetition of home cooking we do week-in, week-out.
Beauty is in the can of the beholder
What we are likely to eat in the summer is connected more directly with the weather than at any other time of the year.Living in Portugal, grilled sardines, tomatoes, cheese and lettuce immediately spring to mind.These ingredients are inextricably linked with high summer.When temperatures are soaring daily into the nineties ( 33/34 F ) all I want to eat for my lunch or supper is salad.I love sardines but I never quite know what to prepare them with.The word “sardine” by itself is enough to put most people off. Pair “sardine” with “salad” in the same sentence  and I know half of you will be about to opt out of reading this post.The Casa Rosada  store cupboard always has stacks of canned sardines and tuna on its shelves.Usually canned sardines are thought of as a last resort for when you can’t be bothered to cook and crave an answer that is a languid lunch.
Sardines are like the win-win fish for me. They’re low in mercury, high in omega-3 fatty acids (as well as iron, calcium, and potassium), inexpensive, and sustainably-fished. Though fresh sardines taste better, canned sardines are good too,( and less smelly ).
I want to give good old Portuguese sardines some column inches.We recently had canned sardines on bruschetta for lunch in a local boutique hotel. Watch out, sardines on toast might be making an up market come back.Another restaurant had sardines stuffed with breadcrumbs and creamy feta cheese on its menu.This one got me thinking.I recently cooked aubergine and feta cheese fritters for some vegetarian guests.I topped them with a Chilli coriander chutney.My favourite variety of canned sardine is in Molho picante ( a spicy tomato sauce that reminds me of a childhood favourite - canned pilchards).
So why not Sardine Fritters with a hot chilli sriracha sauce.My Thai style pork meatballs with dipping sauce always go down a storm so I now thought I would try Thai style fish balls with a home made ketchup-killing condiment *Sriracha.(See-Rotch-ah.)


Bolinhas de sardinha com molho sriracha-soy
Sardine Fritters with Sriracha-Soy Sauce
Makes 24 cocktail sized balls
To make the sauce
2 tbsp sriracha sauce
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
Whisk  all together together in a small bowl. 

To make the fritters
2 tins of sardines
2 eggs
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
small bunch parsley, chopped
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp grated parmesan
25g feta cheese crumbled
A handful of lettuce leaves
fresh lemon juice and wedges for garnish

Mix together the tins of sardines, eggs, finely chopped garlic, chopped parsley, breadcrumbs,  grated Parmesanand feta in a large bowl. Heat about an inch of oil in a large frying pan till it spits when you put a test crumb in. Make small balls (approximately 1 inch in diameter) of the sardine mixture and fry for three to four minutes until golden brown, turning them occasionally with tongs. Place the fritters on a plate with a kitchen towel underneath to absorb the oil. 
Serve on lettuce leaves with the Sriracha-soy sauce in a small dipping bowl and some fresh lemon wedges.

*Sriracha (Thai: ศรีราชา,  [sǐː rāː.t͡ɕʰāː] ) is a type of hot sauce or chili sauce made from a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. It is named after the coastal city of Si Racha, in Chonburi Province of eastern Thailand
In Thailand, sriracha is frequently used as a dipping sauce, particularly for seafood. In Vietnamese cuisine, sriracha appears as a condiment for phở, fried noodles, a topping for spring rolls (chả giò), and in sauces.
Sriracha is also eaten on soup, eggs and burgers. Jams, lollipops, and cocktails have all been made using the sauce, and sriracha-flavoured potato chips have been marketed.

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