Bait eaters unite! Sardines ,in Carpione, or agro dolce or sardele in Soar depending where in Italy

Discussion in 'Fish' started by moikel, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    OK these are our sardines but they were called pilchards or scaly mackerel until they worked out that sardines sell better.[​IMG]

    This recipe works by frying the butterflied fish first then pouring a marinade over them,letting them sit in the frig for a few hours.Very summer dish.

    The version I make involves white wine vinegar,white wine,orange juice & zest,onion ,bay leaf ,chilli ,sugar,parsley,pine nuts & raisins 

    I assumed with those flavours it was a Sicilian dish. Then one of our Aussie /Italian chefs did it on TV & said it was a Venetian dish (northern)& the southern ingredients were explained by the Venice being a maritime power back in the day & trading all over.He was from Venice& said the Venetians gave the dish back to the southerners.

    Anyway I mentioned this to an old Sicilian guy(lots in my 'hood) & he hit the roof. As best as I could understand from the explosive mix of English & Sicilian dialect was that the Venetians stole stuff from all over Italy & the only thing they gave back was risotto  & gondoliers .He was so mad I thought for a moment he said gonorrhoea ,because getting that from a Venetian would make you cranky[​IMG][​IMG].But he did actually mean the singing oarsman. Italians can get pretty parochial about food.[​IMG]

    Anyway its sardele in soar in north ,Carpione in the centre &sarde aggro dolce in the south.

    I will set it out shortly.

    You could use the sardines Leah uses & chargrill them or smoke them whole. These are a bit delicate & I need to flour them & shallow fry.
  2. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Clean sardines remove backbone.Flour then fry in EVO until just done then set aside.I have about 20

    Fry in EVO  a thinly sliced red onion,a finely diced carrot, 2 bay leaves,1 crushed garlic clove 2tabs raisins,2 tabs pine nuts ,1 small chilli diced. When thats all soft add 5 tabs white wine vinegar,a small glass of white wine zest & juice of an orange,1 teasp sugar .Mix well  then pour over sardines that are arranged on ceramic dish.Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

    Put in frig for 2 hours.
  3. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  4. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Marinade done.

    Then onto the sardines.

    Pretty aint it?

    I will have that with some bread & salad.
    leah elisheva likes this.
  5. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Put a simple salad together

    Sardines soak up the marinade plenty left over.

    Great summer dish.
  6. Indeed, here's to we "bait eaters!" That's amazing!!!! The color, flavor, healthfulness, it's just AMAZING!!! I love this!!!! Cheers! - Leah
  7. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I thought it would be your sort of dish. Yes it is very healthy. The method will work with those little blue mackerel or bigger fish cut into steaks. Oily fish of course.

    Its a real summer lunch dish,glass of cold white wine. I use blood orange if I can get it mine is much more Sicilian leaning. Keeps a couple of days.
  8. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Mick,

    That is a gorgeous summer dish, I really would love to be able to try it. Great pictures too!

    We were in the Ligurian region of Italy last fall for a few days, and one of the local specialities was sardines in olive oil with lemon. Super tasty, and very healthy. Your conversation with the Sicilian was amusing to read about....great story, thanks for sharing it!

    Looks like your brain is all fired up on Omega 3's now, so have a great week!
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Tasty looking meal Mick! I'd even eat that in the middle of winter! Which we're having plenty off right now!
  10. dls1

    dls1 Smoking Fanatic

    Great job, Mick. It's an interesting version and a beautiful dish that you've put together. Sarde/Sardelle in Saor is one of my all time favorite dishes, and one I'm very familiar with. I've had it countless times during many visits to Venice and the surrounding area, and I've made it at home many times as well. As long as fresh sardines are available, it's a snap to make.

    It's also 100% Venetian. As Venice became a fishing and trading power the dish became the perfect food for Venetian fishermen, navigators, and sailors who sailed for many days and needed something which would not perish for long periods. Also, the original dish was comprised of 5 readily available ingredients and was simple to prepare. The sarde/sardelle (sardines/pilchards) from the nearby waters were cleaned, coated with flour, and fried. The Chioggia onions from the lagoons islands were sauteed in oil until soft, and then the vinegar was added. The vinegar acted as a preservative for transport, and the onions were thought to prevent scurvy. Those 2 ingredients are represented by the term saor which is Venetian dialect for the Italian word sapore, which means flavor.

    During the Renassaince, a couple additional ingredients were incorporated in the dish when the traders returned with sultanas from Turkey and the edible nuts of the stone pines found in the far South of Italy as well as the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. The addition of those items were thought to sweeten the breath of the eater, and in the early days were typically only added during the winter.

    Once the dish has been cooked, a layer of sardines is placed on the bottom of a terrine or deep glass dish. Then comes a layer of onions, followed by another layer of sardines, then sardines, etc until everything has been used. Te dish is then allowed to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving.

    It's most often served as cihcheti in just about every osteria and bacaro in Venice, and for the most part, it's still prepared and served as it has been for centuries. Some versions incorporate white wine for soaking the sultanas, and others add mild herbs such as thyme or bay. Also, a few old time diehards still omit the sultanas and pine nuts during the non-winter months, but anything much beyond that and the Venetians will rebel.As you said, Italians are pretty parochial about their classic regional or local dishes and tradition always rules supreme.

    To me, your addition of the hot chile and the orange zest/juice, which is a good one, is a brief nod to the South.
  11. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sicilians eat a lot of sardines. A lot of people from that island group that includes Lipari,Stromboli & Vulcano ended up in my part of town. Back in the day there were quite a lot of Sicilians,Calabrians &Puglians running small inshore fishing boats from the bay at the end of my street. All squeezed out of the industry now.

    I understood that Venetians added pine nuts & raisins if they had $ ,kept it plain if they didn't.

    My version is much more Sicilian,they are a parochial bunch. Its the way their mothers did it in their village or no way at all. I once said I had been to a good Greek restaurant & a Sicilian told me the only things the Greeks gave the world was the donkey & the olive[​IMG]  A few other things came to  my mind.

    I have great respect for Garibaldi uniting Italy not sure even he could settle food disputes[​IMG]
  12. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have a great memory for stories not so good for critical dates like birthdays,wedding anniversary etc.[​IMG]

    Carpione is the central Italian version & they often make it with lake fish. No reason you couldn't try it with trout.Mackeral or similar  cross cut into 1/2 inch or so steaks. If your fish guy has a band saw its real simple. I think you could smoke them but it would want to be a light touch.I like char grill but our sardines are a little soft & they really go down hill fast once they leave the boat.

    Great dish on the terrace of some coastal restaurant in Italy with a glass of rose or the like. I may break my weekday drinking ban & have a glass of rose with them tonight.[​IMG]
  13. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Rose and a sardine salad sounds perfect for what is undoubtedly a hot summer day in your part of the world. Enjoy!
  14. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What an incredible looking dish. I love sardines, I love marinade, I love your post. Well done.

  15. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Just as good 2nd night. Broke my weeknight wine ban & had a glass of rose.
  16. Now if only I could "start" a wine ban??? I am impressed - with both your fish and your week time abstinence from vino! Good stuff!

    Cheers! - Leah (Toasting you with my Syrah blend)
  17. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes first glass normally thursday night,when I have 1 glass only. For the goal of accuracy in my posts I had a glass of rose with the sardines just to ensure my recommendation was right.

    In all honesty the Wirra Wirra grenache rose might have been a little sweet. But its all I had cold. A really dry pinot gris might have been closer.My house is a sauvignon blanc free zone I won't drink it. Bloody New Zealanders ship it here by the tanker load I think they are getting even for Aussies giving them the possum.

Share This Page