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3 ways to eat sardines (all involve bacon).

Before we ditched the grains from our diet, I posted a recipe for Sardine Tacos.  I had recently tried fish tacos at a local restaurant and, as a fan of the unpopular sardine, I thought it would be a good idea to replace the tilapia with a more nutritious fish.  Apparently others have had the same idea because I still get traffic from people searching for sardine taco recipes.

And more and more people are coming to love sardines because they are:

  • An excellent source of omega 3′s
  • A good source of vitamin D, calcium and protein
  • Low on the food chain, and therefore low in contaminants such as mercury
  • Inexpensive

But still, the majority of people seem to have no stomach for sardines.  Most of the time, I am perfectly content to eat them straight from the tin, but sometimes even I go through spells where that strong fish smell is not so appealing.  So I started experiencing with some new ways to make sardines more palatable, and of course,  it involves bacon.

These are not tried and true recipes below, just whimsical experiments that need some fine tuning.  So if you are trying to include more sardines in your diet, maybe one of these ideas will give you a little inspiration.

Bacon Wrapped Sardines
I wrapped 1/3 of a slice of bacon around each little fish, and baked then in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until the bacon was crispy, about 20 minutes.  These were good as shown with a slice of avocado and a sun-dried tomato.  But as I was eating them, I realized how easy it was to pick each one up by their crispy little tail, and that feature makes these little appetizers very dip-able.  Next time, I think I’ll go that route…just not sure what kind of dip goes with bacon wrapped sardines!
Bacon, Sardine and Fennel Stuffed Mushrooms
These turned out pretty darn good, and the sardines were barely noticeable.  If I wasn’t participating in The Antihousewife’s March Health Challenge, I would have added some Parmesan cheese to these, and I doubt that anyone would be able to tell that sardines were in the mix.
I removed the stems from the mushrooms, and then coated the bottom of my cast iron skillet with bacon grease.  While the pan was heating up (on medium), I chopped my veggies:
!/2 chopped onion
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped fennel
mushroom stems, cleaned and chopped finely
And gathered my seasonings:
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt as desired1/2 tin of Sardines (I used King Oscar “two layer” in extra virgin olive oil)
A few sprigs of Fennel leaves
2 cloves, garlic, finely chopped

I added everything above the sardines in the list above to the hot pan, stirring occasionally and cooked the mix until there was a hint of caramelizing.  This took about 10-15 minutes.  At the very end, I added the sardines, and just on a whim, threw in some of the fennel leaves and 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic.  If you are going to add cheese, this would be a good time for that.  The mixture was then spooned into the mushroom caps, and baked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes.  NOTE:  Thanks to Tom for sending me letting me know I failed to list the sardines when I made this post earlier today! And one more note, the husband, who is not as big of a sardine fan as I am, just gave these a “They’re delicious!” review.
Bacon and Sardine Salad
Because I only had three mushrooms on hand, I had plenty of stuffing left over.  So I served it on a bed of romaine lettuce and added some, avocado sun-dried tomatoes and capers.  Of the three dishes this is my favorite. With the wide variety of flavors, the sardines are totally concealed.  No salad dressing is needed, but feel free to use one if you want.
If there are any sardine lovers out there, I would love to hear how you include them in your diet.  And it would be especially good to know if any sardine haters have found ways to sneak them in to their tummy without the assistance of bacon.  I doubt it. :-) This post is part of Fight Back Friday!

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5 Responses to 3 ways to eat sardines (all involve bacon).

  1. karlub March 3, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    That bacon-wrapped sardine idea is inspired. Going to make some tonight.

  2. Patty March 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    I hope you like the way they turn out!

  3. karlub March 4, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    I liked ‘em a lot. But they would have been even better with a top-shelf sardine. I had to use ordinary King Oscar. But if I could get my hands on those nice fat ones I occasionally see in nicer restaurants…

  4. iaindwyer March 5, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    I’ll bet guacamole would work well with the bacon wrapped sardines. I may have to try that this week.

  5. Patty March 6, 2011 at 3:20 am #

    Yes, that would definitely work! For some reason I was stuck on something with mustard, but I really like the sound of guacamole!

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