Though less is more when it comes to squeaky-fresh seafood and albariño, the wine is not too pristine to embrace a few migas, crisply fried spicy breadcrumbs that go so well with plump sardines. Have some in the freezer so you can clear up the remains of a good loaf in this typical Atlantic seaboard recipe.
Serves 2-4 as a starter
- 4 whole sardines, filleted (press flat and remove backbone, or sweet-talk your fishmonger)
- 100g coarse breadcrumbs – save a crust to test the oil temperature
- A generous pinch mild smoked paprika
- A clove garlic, crushed
- 1tbsp chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper
- A small egg
- About 1ltr sunflower oil for deep frying
Heat the oil in a pan or deep fat fryer – there should be enough to submerge the fish.
Combine the breadcrumbs with the paprika, garlic and parsley, season to taste and lay flat on a large plate. Beat the egg and place in a wide, shallow bowl.
Trim the sardine fillets nicely and dust with flour, using a flour shaker. One by one dip them into the beaten egg then roll around in the crumbs until each is generously coated.
Once the oil is hot enough to brown a crust of bread fairly swiftly, lower the sardines into the pan. Fry for 3-5 minutes, until the crumbs are golden and crisp.
Drain on kitchen paper and serve with a dollop of lemon mayonnaise.
Janet Wynne Evans