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Spanish sardines | Food Safari Recipes


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To make the escabeche, heat half the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the garlic, onions and salt for 2-3 minutes or until they start to soften. Reduce the heat to medium and add the bay leaves and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the saffron. Add the vinegar, sherry and 500 ml (2 cups) of water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the paprika and remove from the heat. Reserve and let cool.

While the escabeche is cooling, place the sardine fillets in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes. It removes some of the blood and makes the flesh a little firmer. Drain, then place in a bowl with the vinegar and let stand another 10 minutes. Remove and dry on a clean tea towel.

Once the escabeche has cooled, add the sardines, making sure that they are well coated with the sauce. Place in sterilized jars and cover with sauce. Store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Photograph by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Rachel Lane. Creative concept by Belinda So.

Maeve O’Meara is back on Food Safari Water starting at 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 1 on SBS and then you can catch up on all episodes via SBS On Demand. Visit the program page for recipes, videos and more.

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