Your ordinary sardines in cans can be modified to cheer up the day. Try this recipe to turn the bland fish into a quick, tasty meal with room for your personal touch.
Sardines in cans could use your creativity once in a while. Other than the fact that they are quite easy to find and easily prepared, there's always room for enhancements. As a main course, the medium-sized sardines in cans is a healthy choice that can easily be paired with rice or mashed potatoes, if you will.
This simple recipe of Sardencis Meal with Chopped Veggies makes for three people. It only takes about 15 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook. We've been having this sardines meal on our tables since there were small sardines in cans.
1 medium size (155 gr) canned sardines
1 large size garlic
1 onion, sliced
a handful of red chili
1 table spoon salt
a handful of fresh, red tiny tomato (or one large tomato)
1. Separate sardines from their canned sauce, which you will be using later on, and preheat 1/4 liter cooking oil to medium.
2. Fry the finger-sized sardines until they are mildly crisp, and then lower the heat for a slow cook. Make sure that they don't stick to your pan by regularly flipping them. Once they turn dark brown, they will let out a nice smell, which indicates that they are ready. As you rinse them, make sure that you leave them to cool off on a pile of tissue needed to absorb the excess oil from your fried sardines. Store the oil you use to fry the sardines on a bowl because you will use it later for the sauce.
3. Chop your potatoes and eggplants into medium-size edible chunks and then fry them in separate oil to cook.
4. For the sauce, first chop a handful of red chili into tiny chunks and blender to medium smoothness with your chopped garlic. Make sure to add 1 to 2 teaspoons of water and 1 teaspoon salt to keep the chili from turning bitter, and then store in fridge.
5. Chop your onion to think slices, and then reheat the oil you use to fry the sardines. This will add to the delicate taste of the oily fish. The idea is to enhance the available sauce that comes with the fish.
6. Fry your onion slices till they smell nice, and then pour the chili. Stir gently the thick chili sauce in medium heat for about ten minutes or until the sauce turn pale in color. Next, pour the sauce from the can, which you've stored in the fridge into the thick chili sauce on the sauce bowl. You can control the thickness of the sauce by adding up to half a cup of water in. As soon as the sauce looks and tastes ready, leave it to cool off.
7. Spoon fried sardines onto your serving plate and add potatoes and eggplants. Make sure that the arrangement looks attractive before you pour the thick sauce on top. Add slices of fresh, red tomatoes on the side, if you like it.
Make sure that you check for the nutrition value and expiration dates before cooking. You can also use assorted cut-up vegetables that are available in packages in the supermarket, but fresh vegetables add to the healthy and homey taste of the meal. If you're using the red chili that is used in Indonesia, it will let out a comfortable smell when it is really cooked. Make sure that you add the sauce when the chili is still half done, and then turn the heat to slow cook to enhance the taste of the ready-made tomato sauce that usually comes with the fish.
You can also view the recipe here and here.
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