It’s a beautiful pre-summer day and there were some fresh looking sardines at Intermarché in Realmont.
A bit early to be thinking “summer lunches” but we need cheering up, so I bought three each–juicy ones–and butterflied them.
We had them baked with a simple fennel salad which cuts the richness of the sardines.
Butterscotch is still not well–in fact poor mite–she’s worse and so thin.
She wants to eat and to go on as usual and doesn’t understand why she can’t.
She came out into the garden this morning while we did the exercise routine with our friend Flo and was “with us”–as cats often like to be.
Going over to Flo she did one of those wonderful cat “rolls” they do for you– “it’s a greeting” Meredith says.
She managed it and even did a return roll–that lifted our spirits.
She is twelve now and some systems seem to be failing her.
“On s’attache”–“you grow fond”–of your pets and it’s hard.
Here’s the recipe to cheer you up after reading this!!
6 firm and fresh sardines–butterflied (see below)
100gms/4 oz wholewheat breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon parsley–chopped
2 garlic cloves–chopped fine
1 tablespoon of capers–chopped
a pinch of dried oregano
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
Heat the oven at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 if using.
Butterfly filleting is a bit of a business but rewarding.You’ll need a
chopping board and plenty of kitchen paper. Have a pair of
scissors to hand and a plate to receive the fillets. Make sure
there are no scales left on the fish, then with the head in your
left hand and the body in your right, gently pull the head off
and as much of the innards as possible from the tail end. Use
the scissors to snip along the belly, then with your left thumb
coax out the rest of the innards. Place the fish, belly down, on
the board and press gently up and down the backbone with
both thumbs. Flatten the fish as much as you can with three
fingers of both hands. Lift and snip off the small fin, then snip
the backbone at the tail end and, with the left hand, draw it
carefully away from the body, taking care not to take too
much of the flesh with it. Voila! You have a butterfly fillet.
- Wash and dry the fillets
- Place a sheet of foil on a shallow baking tray
- Using a brush if you have one it spread it with a tablespoon of oil.
- Place the fillets on the tray.
- In a bowl combine the breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, capers, oregano and season with the salt and pepper.
- Pour over a tablespoon of olive oil and mix it all together thoroughly.
- Spoon the mixture evenly over the fillets.
- Drizzle over the remaining olive oil adding a little extra if you feel it needs it.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
I let them have a minute under a hot grill this morning to finish off.