Wednesday 15 October 2014

Food, Music, Food, Music, Food, Music... Ad Infinitum

While still the colour of the leaves hasn't changed, nor have they fallen to the ground en masse, autumn is here. And with autumn comes comfort food. If you are a veggie, please, scroll straight down to the music. This post smells and tastes of bacon. As soon as I read the Cook supplement that comes with The Guardian every Saturday last weekend I knew I had to post this recipe. The music to go with it was easy to find. It's music with soul because this is a dish with plenty of soul. By the way, you can eat this as a mid-week light meal or as weekend lunch. All credit goes to Jason Atherton, author of Gourmet Food for a Fiver (Quadrille)

Grilled sardines on toast with bacon, basil and tomato

8 butterflied sardine fillets (opened out flat, bones removed)
A bunch of basil, leaves picked, stalks reserved
400g cherry tomatoes, about 35-40, halved
2 tbsp finely diced red onion
4 tbsp sherry vinegar
120ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1½ lemons, in halves ready for squeezing
Sea salt and black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
4 rashers of streaky bacon
120g tin sardines in tomato sauce
4 slices of thick country bread (such as ciabatta or sourdough)
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
Put the basil leaves (reserving a few for garnishing) into a bowl with half the cherry tomatoes. Add the onion, vinegar, oil and the juice of ½ a lemon. Toss and season with salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a little vegetable oil in a small wide pan and fry the bacon rashers until crisp. Remove, drain on kitchen paper and set aside. Into the same pan, tip the tinned sardines, basil stalks and remaining tomatoes. Simmer over a medium heat for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are cooked, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the juice of ½ a lemon. Puree in a blender until smooth, press through a sieve into a bowl and season. Char the bread under a grill, drizzle with olive oil and rub with the cut garlic clove. Heat a good splash of vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Pan-fry the sardine fillets, skin-side down first, for 1–2 minutes on each side until cooked. Season and add a squeeze of lemon. Drizzle a little sardine sauce on each plate and lay a slice of toast in the middle. Top with the tomato salad, followed by the sardines, bacon and basil. Finish with a drizzle of the sardine sauce and a little olive oil.

I mentioned music with soul. You don't get much soul than The Wailin' Jennys' Storm Comin'. I like to think of this melody as synonymous with the colour of bacon as it turns crisp. Love the way the song builds up. Enjoy

Second track up is this beautiy which I discovered recently on the KCRW channel to which I am subscribed. What half-nelsoned me to the ground immediately was Hozier's honest delivery. Did I say soul at the beginning of this post? Just like honest comfort food (all that simmering) Take Me To Church is pure musical bliss. Soak up.

Rough, earth-shattering, raw. There are many ways to describe Koko Taylor's singing. And they all go hand in hand with that bread you charred under the grill. And the tossing and drizzling that tonight's recipe requites.. Waaaaaang Dang Doodle for you, ladies and gents! Happy eating.

Next Post: "Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music", to be published on Sunday 19th October at 10am (GMT)


  1. I like bacon but I'm not as convinced about sardines unless they just add a hint of favor. Speaking of new flavors, I'm familiar with Hozier but The Wallin Jennys is new to me - loved her music!

  2. gosh...her voice with the wailin love...thanks for the introduction...

    mmm, not sure about the sardines man...ha...maybe just a flashback to what passed for sardines here in the states...

  3. The grilled sardines sound really good.

  4. Yeah, hold the sardines, maybe not for the cat though. the wallin jennys have a great voice.

  5. Musica y comida, la combinacion perfecta, saludos amigo.

  6. Great songs in your line-up this week.

  7. Sin duda debe se un plato muy bueno por la mezcla, pero para mi estomago lo veo un poco fuerte.
    Que disfrutes de él, saludos.

  8. The mere sight of sardines is enough to send me scurrying, CiL. And, being one of those who eats to live rather than lives to eat, I am afraid I have little appreciation for the culinary arts and crafts. This is a trait which might block my taste buds from many great moments, but it also eliminates any worry about weight or wardrobe problems.

    My vote also goes to the Jenny crew.

  9. You can sit and listen to Koko Taylor's gravely sound for hours. Love her.
    And I bet your sandwich goes down easily too.

  10. Loved the music - worth skipping by the bacon for!

  11. The recipe sounds interesting. Not something I think I would try but I bet my cats would like me to. ;)

  12. Damn thing! I tell you what I did... (just remember, I'm mexican!)As a first approximation, I fried, along with the fresh sardines, a couple of dry serrano chilli (just to browned a little, no more). And I tried, and was excellent. But later I grinned a full cuaresmeño (or jalapeño) chilli along with the sardine sauce, and was just marvellous! Give it a try when you are on the America's, you won't regret it my friend! ;)

  13. Wow...thanks for the introduction...fabulous music!

    Have to confess...I haven't eaten sardines for years...
    will have to try this make it sound delicious...:)

  14. Many thanks for your kind comments.

    I'm a sardines man, and a mackerel man, and a tuna man, and anything that moves int he water man! :-) Crab, prawns, love them. I also love the combination of the tinned sardines, the real sardines and the bacon. I had never thought a combo like this could work but tomorrow Saturday is the day I will try it. Wish me luck.

    Have a great weekend.

    Greetings from London.

  15. Gosh I haven't had sardines in years...I think I'd better get some in stock since after reading this post my whole being fancies some.

  16. Gosh I haven't had sardines in years...I think I'd better get some in stock since after reading this post my whole being fancies some.

  17. Good food and joyous blues! Love it all, Amiga

    " Every bad situation
    is a blues song
    waiting to happen. "
    Amy Winehouse

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    =^..^= . <3

  18. bacon is fine, but I don´t like sardines :) Actually I thought it was a skandinavian dish. :)

  19. Just when I'm despairing of never finding new music to thrill my ears, you give me the Wailin' Jennys. That'll be in my head now as I sit at my computer the next few hours!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...