Sardines Grillees au Sauce Cresson

A deliciously simple dish, Sardines Grillees au Sauce Cresson (sahr-decn gree-yay oh sohss kreh-sohn) may be served with boiled new potatoes and French bread for a satisfying lunch or supper.

12 fresh sardines, cleaned and washed in cold water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch watercress, washed, shaken dry and finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

8 fl. oz. mayonnaise

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the grill to high.

Arrange the sardines, in one layer, on the bottom of a shallow, flameproof casserole. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the sardines with half of the olive oil. Place the casserole under the heat and grill the sardines for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are lightly browned. Turn the sardines over and lightly brush them with the remaining olive oil.

Grill for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are lightly browned and the flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a small serving bowl or jug, combine the watercress, parsley, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, beating with a fork until they are well blended. Taste the sauce and add more seasoning if necessary.

Remove the casserole from the grill and serve the sardines at once, with the watercress sauce. traditional rarebit mixture topped with sardines, Sardine Rarebit can be served with a tossed green salad or on its own for a quick and tasty supper.

6 oz. cream cheese

8 fl. oz. milk

2 tablespoons tomato puree

1½ teaspoons prepared French mustard

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 large egg

1 tablespoon butter, softened

6 slices thin bread, toasted

6 canned whole sardines, drained and halved

Place the cream cheese and milk in a small saucepan. Set the pan over moderate heat and, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, heat the mixture until the cheese has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, beat together the tomato puree, mustard, salt, cayenne, egg and butter. Add this mixture to the milk mixture and return the pan to the heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly.

Remove the pan from the heat.

Preheat the grill to high.

Spread equal amounts of the cheese mixture on top of the toast slices. Lay 2 sardine halves on each slice of toast.

Place the rarebits on the rack in the grill pan and grill for 2 minutes or until the cheese mixture is bubbling.

Remove the pan from under the heat. Transfer the toast slices to individual warmed serving plates and serve at once.

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