Scopri

Stuffed and Fried Lake Sardines, with Salad from the Garden with Chestnut Honey

Chef Walter Zanoni

Difficulty: easy

Method: 40'

Cooking: 10'

Difficulty: easy

Method: 40'

Cooking: 10'

Chef Walter Zanoni

Difficulty: easy

Method: 40'

Cooking: 10'

Difficulty: easy

Method: 40'

Cooking: 10'

Method

  1. 01 /

    If you have not purchased fish that is already filleted, start with filleting. Wash and scale the fish gently, using the back of the knife to avoid breaking the flesh. Gut the sardines and wash them really well in water to remove all impurities. Place the sardines on the work surface and score the back on both sides. Carefully remove the backbone and any remaining entrails, without removing the head so that the shape of the fish is left intact. Then wash the sardines with cold running water and finally dry them. You can decide to fillet the sardines completely, obtaining normal fillets: After having scaled and gutted the fish as above, place it on the work surface and score both sides on the back, cutting off the head and removing the backbone. Wash and dry the fillets obtained.

  2. 02 /

    Prepare the filling: put the breadcrumbs in a bowl and add the cheese. In the area of Lake Garda, Grana Padano is more widely used than Parmigiano Reggiano, which would still be fine. Also add the chopped parsley and chopped garlic, a small clove so as not to overpower the other ingredients with its intense flavour. Dilute the egg with the milk in a small bowl, adding a pinch of salt and add everything to the breadcrumbs. Mix well and add the extra virgin olive oil and freshly ground pepper. Continue to mix until the ingredients are perfectly blended together, adding a drop of milk in case the mixture is too stiff and not very creamy.

  3. 03 /

    Stuff and bread the sardines: fill the stomach of the sardines and, with your hands, gently compact the filling inside. Place the sardines on a plate and, always carefully, close the filling inside the stomach. If you have fillets, place the first one on the work surface. Collect a little of the filling and give it a shape similar to the fillet, working it with your hands to make it even. Place the filling on the fillet, press a little, then close with the other fillet, as if it were a sandwich. Move on to breading, placing either the whole sardines or the fillets first in the flour then in the beaten egg.

  4. 04 /

    Cook the sardines: put the extra virgin olive oil in a pan and when it is hot, add the sardines, a few at a time so as not to lower the temperature of the frying oil too much. Gently turn the sardines when the golden crust forms on the underside. This takes approximately a couple of minutes. Continue cooking and, if using whole sardines, collect the oil with a spoon and pour it on the part not in contact with the pan for a more even cooking. When both sides are golden brown, check the internal cooking as well: if you see that the fishbones are still a little red, lower the heat to prevent the sardines from burning on the outside.

  5. 05 /

    Prepare the side dish: wash, cut and dry the salad. Prepare the dressing by combining the chestnut honey, salt, white balsamic vinegar, finishing with the extra virgin olive oil. Stir vigorously, almost an emulsion should form.

  6. 06 /

    To serve: Place the salad and fried sardines on a serving dish and finish with the oil, honey and balsamic vinegar dressing.

You can replace the lake sardines with another fish, either from the lake or from the sea, which in any case has an intense flavour and is well structured.

We have proposed as a side dish a salad with very fresh products, coming directly from the garden: compose your dish with other types of salad, based on how fresh you find them at the market.

Chestnut honey and balsamic vinegar, produced locally, combine perfectly to give aroma and acidity to the dish: if you really cannot find them, do not use poor quality products, simply dress your salad with extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar.

Ingredients for 4 persone

1 kg lake sardines

For the filling

120 g breadcrumbs

120 g Grana Padano

25 g egg yolk

50 ml whole milk

10 g chopped parsley

1 small clove garlic

40 ml extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

For the breading and frying

60 g eggs

50 g tipo 00 flour

250 ml extra virgin olive oil

For the salad

40 g rocket

60 g red cabbage

60 g radicchio trevisano

5 g wild fennel

20 ml white balsamic vinegar

20 g chestnut honey

60 ml extra virgin olive oil

Salt

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