I just love sardines – our local fish supplier sells trays of them already cleaned and for only $7 you will feed 3 people. I like to remove the spine and back fin so they are super easy to eat but it is a bit fiddley to do and not really necessary. Being an oily fish they are quite tasty and very good for you too. I usually dip them in flour, egg and breadcrumbs (either butterflied or normal fish shape) and shallow fry them but I thought I might try putting some cheese in the fish, closing it up and wrapping it in prosciutto for a change.
I prepare the fish by making sure they are clean and taking the top of the spine and gently teasing the flesh away from the bones but leaving the tail, I then remove the back fin (both these steps are optional). Dry the fish with paper towel if damp and flour lightly before dipping in the egg wash and then breadcrumbs. Fry in hot oil for 1 – 2 minutes each side or golden in colour. Drain on paper towel and keep warm in the oven until all are cooked (cook the fish in small batches).
The prosciutto sardines are prepared as above but stuffed with a piece of cheese to fit the fish cavity, then close the fish up and wrap with prosciutto. Place the fish in a oven proof dish and sprinkle with olive oil and tomato based sauce of your choice (I used Wildings Pantry Essentials product pomegranate, lime and chilli piquant and a splash of homemade tomato sauce). Roast or grill for 5 – 10 min until just cooked.
Sardines have always been a favourite of mine but not so with my family, however prepared this way they just love them! Thanks to White’s Fisheries in Drysdale for their excellent produce.