Saturday, April 2, 2011

Did Someone Say Sardines?

My middle name should be antique or sentimental as I am continually harking back to the past. I love so many of the old-fashioned foods and old ways of doing things. I get all blubbery when I think of eating at my Grandmothers’ tables; remember eggs ala russe or the tuna casserole I learned to make in the 8th grade. I frequently crave egg creams, penny candy and neighborhood grocery stores with worn wood floors. I enjoy kneading dough and use my copper bowl for beating whites by hand. I prefer linen napkins. It has often made me feel like odd gal out. That is, until recently.

An email came from friend Angus. He was looking for a recipe for something his mother Edith (a superb cook) used to make, “…an hors d’oeuvres using sardines, Worcestershire sauce, plus other ingredients that she would mix up in a small frying pan and then spread on toast points and broil…”

At that point, it hit me. We're all a bit sentimental. Lots of us have fond memories of a food we once ate or a dish we used to love. We’d like to have that food again but we don’t have the recipe, can’t find it on the net and have exhausted the resources of family and friends.

Let’s have a recipe hunt (actually, Angus suggested this) and see if we can’t rediscover some of the foods we used to enjoy. Send me a description of the recipe you are looking for, I’ll blog it and we'll see if all of us (and our extended contacts) can find what you’re missing.

So I'll go first with Challenge #1 (something I’ve been looking for):
There was a steak house in New York, now closed, called Manero’s. They served the most incredible loaves of warm bread dripping with butter that came precut and wrapped in paper napkins. Does anyone know how they made it?

I am excited to hear from you!

My Take on Edith’s Sardine Canapés

• 1 can skinless and boneless sardines, drained and mashed
• 1 TBS softened sweet butter
• 2 TBS minced shallot sautéed in butter until wilted
• 1 Tsp finely minced parsley plus several leaves for garnish
• Several dashes of Worcestershire
• Pinch cayenne pepper
• Pinch dry mustard
• Pepperidge Farm white bread toasted, with crusts removed and cut into 4 triangles
• 1 hardboiled egg, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350°
• Lightly butter toast points with softened butter
• Mix together mashed sardines, sautéed shallots, minced parsley, Worcestershire, dry mustard and cayenne
• Spread mix evenly over buttered toast points and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
• Bake until just warmed through, about 10 minutes
• Sprinkle the center of each canapé with chopped egg and garnish with one parsley leaf
• Serve warm with wedges of lemon

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