Portuguese food

The food of Portugal is rich, & has a depth of intensity just like its people.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sardines Panfried with Tomato & Capsicum Rice

If there is one food that reminds me  of Portugal, it's sardines. Sardines, bring back so many memories of my childhood. The distinct smell wafting in the air as they were barbecuing outside or pan fried & served with a salad of grilled capsicum & tomato in summer & served with tomato rice in the colder months.
The smell of sardines cooking, take me back to our terrace house in Surry Hills sitting around our table eating these small pilchards. I'd enjoy eating these but it wasn't long before I would start chocking on the small bones, without looking up or stopping what she was doing my mum would toss a small piece of bread my way & tell me to eat, this would dislodge the small bones she'd say.
The memory makes me laugh, we definitely weren't molly coddled as kids.

If Bacalhau (dried Cod fish) is the main course in the Portuguese diet then Sardines are the entree. 
Sardines are so beloved by the Portuguese, you'll find them on every restaurant menu in Portugal. At home they are cooked simply usually whole as this retains  flavor & moisture.


For the Sardines
  • 12 sardines, gutted & scaled
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 tea salt
  • 1 tea white pepper
  • 1 cup oil to fry ( 

Tomato & Capsicum Rice
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 large white onion, small dice
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1/2 capsicum, deseeded, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato passatta (tomato pulp) if you don't have that use diced tomatoes
  • 1 tea paprika
  • 2 tea salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tab parsley flat leaf

 1. In a pot (heat should be a medium to hot flame) add the olive oil.
Add the onion, garlic & fry for 1 minute then add the capsicum & bay leaves  cooking for   another  minute.     
Add the rice & stir coating the grains with the oil. Then add the paprika & salt.
Add the tomatoes & water. Bring the water to the boil on high heat, then reduce the heat to low & cover. Cook the rice for 20 minutes.

2. Before you cook the rice make sure the sardines are cleaned.

 3. Put the flour, salt & pepper on a plate. Coat the sardines with the flour.
Then in a fry pan heat the oil. Then fry the sardines. This should take 3 or 4 minutes on each side.

4. Once the rice is cooked switch off  the heat. The rice should be wet. Be aware that the rice absorbs water, so you need to serve immediately otherwise your rice will be dry. 

 5. The sardines remain juicy & moist.

6. I love eating sardines this way in winter. The rice adds a bit of depth & warmth to the cool weather. 

This is a restaurant right on the beach, not near it but right on it. It's location is in the Algarve, Portugal. The restaurant sign says Barbecued Sardines,the restaurant served different types of food which was simple & fresh.


belnboo said...

Yum,I love sardines & tomato rice. The tomato rice is different to the way I've had it before. I like it a lot especially for this weather.
Oh & by the way I made the ricotta doughnuts, they were great,perfect recipe. They were so yum,my family loved them, thanks.

Roland said...

Yum, looks really great.I love sardines

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I love the look of that restaurant! :D And the rice reminds me of a delicious risotto :)

Portuguese Kitchen said...

Hi belnboo- Glad you like the food & that you tried the doughnuts.I'm always glad that people try my recipes,thank you.

Hi Roland- Thanks

Hi Lorraine- I loved the restaurant as well,one of my favorite.