My New 52: Canned Sardines

I’ve been wanting to increase the amount of fish that we eat since it’s good for you and Rob and I both like it, but the sustainability issue is one that really bothers me. Ideally, I’d like to limit my part in fishing species out of existence. Sardines are generally regarded as a good choice for the health of both humans and the planet, and the coop I belong to has a good selection of inexpensive, ethically caught canned fish, but I’d never had them and wasn’t really sure what to do with them.

Then I was flipping through the Saltie cookbook recently and saw the recipe for the Captain’s Daughter: sardines, hard-boiled eggs, and salsa verde. Aha! I thought. That looks like an interesting combination. I had some homemade bread (from this Laurie Colwin recipes), plenty of eggs ready to boil, and the makings of a batch of chimichurri sauce, which really deserves its own post. I think it might be my favorite condiment of all time.

For my version (the Captain’s Redheaded Stepdaughter, perhaps), I toasted two slices of bread for each of us, buttered them lightly (I think cream cheese would be nice here, but I didn’t have any), mashed a boneless sardine filet on each slice, topped it with some hardboiled egg slices, and drizzled chimichurri sauce over the top. With a salad on the side, it was a flavorful, reasonably virtuous dinner that I’ll be happy to repeat. As for the sardines themselves, much like anchovies, I found them a little intense on their own, but delicious in concert with other strong flavors. I’m looking forward to playing around with them more.

My New 52: Hot Fudge Sauce

Hot fudge sauce always seemed sort of like not a pain, exactly, but like more effort than you needed for chocolate sauce. When you could just melt some chocolate and cream together and have a perfect ganache for any occasion, why would you bother with all of those extra ingredients and I never had corn syrup on hand and there’s timed boiling?

There are brownies in there too.

Well, I get it. It’s denser and sort of chewy and it’s so shiny. It’s not going to replace ganache in my kitchen for the most part, but it’s definitely earned its place.

My New 52: Chicken and Dumplings

This one, I’m sorry to report, was a bust, pasty and pretty bland. I don’t necessarily want to blame the recipe since I tweaked it a fair amount, but it’s hard to imagine that any of the changes (no sherry in the house, so deglazed with white wine; no leeks at our grocery store, so used extra onion plus celery and carrots, for example) really screwed things up all that much. Still, it was warm and filling and I’ll be happy enough to eat the leftovers for lunch for a few days.

On the other hand, this caramelized onion dip was absolutely delicious. I didn’t even get a picture because four of us demolished it before I ever even thought to reach for my camera.

Bonus photos of this weekend: some pigs I visited and Will Shortz, who was involved in a crossword competition I was in on Saturday. (I did not distinguish myself.)