Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Moroccan Sardine Filets en Croute With Roasted Poblano Chile and Vindaloo Curry Mayonnaise

     A Tasty Sardine Appetizer!
     Not every tiny fish in a sardine can is a true sardine.  Small herring, pilchards or sprats are often labeled as canned sardines.  Real sardines are a species of their own and they only live in a few oceanic regions around the globe.  The Mediterranean Ocean is a good sardine fishery.
     Moroccan Sardines are real sardines.  Morocco happens to have a good sardine fishery just offshore.  The flavor of good Moroccan Sardines tastes like light tuna.  Fresh Mediterranean sardines are available occasionally in fish markets, but they tend to be a special order item.  Canned Moroccan Sardines are almost always available and the quality is pretty good.
     Sardine lunch appetizers with nice presentations are popular in yacht clubs.  A nice plate of sardines is a throw back to the golden age of fine dining.  At the yacht club that I worked in, there was about five members that ordered the sardine appetizer platter everyday.  Sardines are loaded with Omega 3 Fatty Acids and they are very healthy to eat.  Good sardines taste great and a nice presentation makes them even more appealing.
     Vindaloo Curry Paste is made with red chile peppers, Portuguese spices and a few Indian spices.  Vindaloo Curry Paste is a nice flavor for a mayonnaise spread.  Vindaloo Curry Paste can be found at Indian food markets and some grocery stores.  Vindaloo Curry Paste can be made fresh, but the manufactured product ends up being much more cost effective.  In the end the flavor is the same.
     Vindaloo Curry Mayonnaise:
     This recipe yields almost 1/2 cup.  (Enough for 1 appetizer portion.) 
     Step 1:  Place 1/3 cup of mayonnaise in a small mixing bowl.
     Add 1 teaspoon of Vindaloo Red Curry Paste.
     Add 1 teaspoon of Korean style Coarse Ground Red Serrano Chile Paste.  (sambal)
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Step 2:  Stir the ingredients together.
     Chill the Vindaloo Curry Mayonnaise for 1 hour, so the flavors meld.
     This recipe yields 1 appetizer portion.
     Cut 6 thin bias slices of French baguette bread.  (About 1/4" to 3/8" thick.)
     Brush each bread slice with olive oil.
     Heat a wide sauté pan or griddle over medium/medium low heat.
     Place the bread slices in the pan.
     Grill the bread on both sides till it is lightly toasted and crisp.
     Set the crostini aside.
     Moroccan Sardine Filet Preparation:
     Canned Moroccan Sardines are used for this recipe.  Canned sardines must be handled very gently, because they easily break apart.
     Canned Moroccan Sardines usually have the skin and scales attached.  For a fine dining appetizer the skin and scales should be removed.   The bones and any entrails should be removed too. 
     Step 1:  Hold a sardine under a trickle of cold running water and use your fingers to gently rub the skin and scales off of 3 whole sardines.
     Step 2:  Carefully split the sardines open .
     Place each sardine half on a platter.
     Carefully remove the bones and stomach from the sardines.
     *Now there should be 6 sardine filets on the platter.   
     Moroccan Sardine Filets en Croute With Roasted Poblano Chile and Vindaloo Curry Mayonnaise: 
     This recipe yields 1 appetizer.
     Fresh roasted chile poblano is best, but canned roasted chile poblano is in keeping with this recipe.  Some brands are better than others!
     Step 1:  Spread a thin layer of the Vindaloo Curry Mayonnaise on each crostini.
     Carefully place 1 sardine filet on each crostini.
     Mound a few thin sliced roasted poblano pepper strips on each sardine.
     Step 2:  Arrange the crostini on a plate in a starfish pattern.
     Garnish the center of the plate with small pieces of Persian Pickled Wild Cucumber and Italian Parsley sprigs.
     This simple Moroccan Sardine appetizer has a nice fusion of international flavors!    

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