Welcome to my world - a blend of passion, taste, and old-world traditions. Benvenuti nel mio mondo - un mischio di passione, gusto e vecchie tradizioni.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

SARDINES - Why They Are Good for You

I believe it’s never too late to treat your body right.  And one way I treat my body right is by eating healthy.  As we grow older, one of the foods important for brain function is oily fish like Sardines or Anchovies.
Fresh sardines - Sarde fresche
All photos - Copyright - ©2010 - La Casa e Il Giardino - picasaweb

The essential fatty acids found in sardines can help prevent "senior moments" by protecting the membranes that cover our brain cells. The fatty acids can also reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular disease and may also help lower blood sugar levels. They are also a good source of vitamin D, calcium, B12, and protein.

All fish, but especially sardines because they contain fat, if not fresh the flavor is altered.
Signals to recognize that fish is fresh even for the less experienced:
The skin must be humid and shiny
The scales must be compact
The body must be rigid and have an ocean smell

Sardines will preserve all flavors if the cooking is fast and simple.

Broiled or grilled fresh sardines with garlic, parsley, black pepper and a good drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil

If a good fishmonger is not nearby, look for canned, smoked, or pickled sardines. When buying them canned, look for the ones packed in their own oil, olive oil, or water rather than in soybean or cottonseed oil.

In my household, we also love salted sardines or anchovies.
      One of my favorite brands of anchovies

Another dish which I have bee eating since childhood, is
Cabbage with Cornbread and Fried Sardines - Verza con Pizza di Granturco e Sarde Fritte

1 cabbage
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 cup olive oil (fry sardines or anchovies in it and later pour over cabbage).  See below.
2 chilies or red pepper flakes
Pinch of black pepper
Adjust salt if necessary

Cornbread recipe.    Cook cabbage and set aside.

Fried sardines and peppers
Fried Sardines
Ingredients for 2 persons
8 sardines or anchovies
2 tablespoons of flour
1/2 cup olive oil

Being that sardines or anchovies are salted, they must be rinsed and sit in water for an hour.  Water should be changed often to remove salt.  Drain and pat dry.  Dust sardines with flour and fry in hot oil about 5 minutes.  Set aside.  In the same oil, add chopped garlic, few hot or sweet chilies, black pepper and simmer for 5 minutes and pour over the cooked cabbage.  Serve with cornbread and fried sardines or anchovies.




This is fresh fish: