Monday, November 23, 2009

sardines in tomato sauce


i'm gonna say this right away....this is not a posting for everybody.

this morning as i was making myself some breakfast, i realized that i have never blogged about a pantry staple that has been in my life as far back as i can remember. it is such an obvious staple for me (like rice and pasta...both asian inspired and italian inspired pasta btw...that is life in the bay area for ya) that i take it for granted that it is something i always have in my pantry. then this morning, as i was taking this staple out of my pantry, i thought....wait a sec....this isn't exactly an everyday staple for everybody. what am i talking about? i'm talking about sardines in tomato sauce.

ever since i can remember, this was something that was used to make a quick meal....and the add-ins always varied depending on what was in the fridge or around. it was typically fried up with a combo of garlic, onions, chilies, and nuoc mam....maybe sprinkled with chopped coriander ......and served with rice. usually, this is something when i make...i don't even think about it...i just make it. so it was a bit funny for me to stop and actually think about the process i go through to make this.


so i gathered the can of sardines in tomato sauce, a red onion (not because you have to use red onion...i am only using red onions recently because there was a beaucoup sale on organic red onions at my local market....so i went kinda crazy on buying onions), and some green onions...

after i chopped up half of the red onion and the green onions, i realized that i still had some garlic confit left in my fridge, so decided i would use that....(again, you don't have to make garlic confit esp for this...it is all about what do you have on hand)


so i put some of the garlic confit and oil in the pan ......


added some chili flakes with the red and green onion (white and pale parts only)....

and let that fry up at a high heat for a bit......


then... this is the important part.... i turned the heat off....and opened the can of the sardines....


i have a feeling this is probably the first time that many of you have seen the inside of this sort of item. then i carefully put the sardines into the hot pan (with the heat turned off)....the reason for this is that the fish is pretty delicate and also when you put tomato sauce into an extremely hot pan...well...that shit gets EVERYWHERE....and is a rather pain in the ass to clean up....but this way, the pan is still warm...but lessens the mess factor.



make sense?

kay, then i put in a few splashes of nuoc mam and then the green parts of the onion....

turn the heat back on at a medium flame....and carefully stir it and then cover it.


again, this helps with the mess factor. i'll do periodic peeks at it and usually stir it if necessary. the combo of the heat and the nuoc mam will change the color of the tomato to a nice brown....


see?


i ended up eating this for breakfast with some rice (in this case it was wild rice blend).


i usually have some sort of cooked grain in my fridge...usually some type of rice or quinoa....which reminds me...i should try adding farro into my repertoire...well, that was off topic..anyway, making this sardine dish actually takes about 20 min tops from start to finish (that is if you aren't taking pictures) which is probably why it was such a staple for me growing up. often times, variations of this would be served as lunch or as a dinner with a steamed veg and rice.

again, this isn't a dish for everyone, particularly if you are the sort that thinks breakfast should only be cereal. yet, this gives everyone a peek into what i really eat in my kitchen....it is pretty much all over the place.

well, gotta get back to researching various markets.....until later.....

2 comments:

Bruno said...

This has been especially inspiring, me being a sardine (mr. lovah) lover, AND having not long ago discovered nuoc mam. Thank you...

(by the way, my sardine lazy/comfort food is plain rice, chick peas, sardines out of the can, sesame seeds, chili powder and olive oil...cold)

foodie hunter said...

hiya bruno, thanks much for the feedback and the tip! i'm definitely going to try your comfort food version of sardines....it sounds quite yummy.