Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sardine Rillettes

This one is near the top of the list of "recipes we would never have tried, were it not for "French Fridays with Dorie". 
Per Nana:
This recipe brought back a lot of memories of the 70's and 80's.  
Many a Saturday evening with friends consisted of a pitcher of 
Martinis or Scotch sours, with various homemade spreads or dips.
I often made a spread of sardines, chopped egg and mayo, or chopped 
clams with cream cheese on small rye bread,that I ran under the broiler.
  One of the first dips I learned to make was a package of Lipton's  onion 
soup mix with sour cream. Times have changed a bit, 
now I use Knorr's vegetable soup for the dip. Don't laugh,
 they are still tasty combinations today.  
I love the ingredients added to the cream cheese in this recipe, 
they give it quite a  flavor.  I decided to stuff a few peppadew 
with the mixture, topped with some capers.  Hubby loved that,
 he is a great fan of peppadews, and since I am not, I used some
 saltine  crackers with slices of petite pickles.

This spread is also great on sliced toast, and as I made the full recipe 
of two cans of sardines, I think that will be lunch for a couple of days.

Per Tricia:
To say that there was a bit of apprehension about this one would be 
an understatement.  I had no desire to try anchovies but I try not to let
 this come into play when it is "French Friday".   Plus, I was trying to keep
 my bias off the radar so that my taste testers would not be swayed.  
I was initially quite surprised when I opened the sardine can and found
 something that looked more like large pieces of tuna than "sardines". 
 This was actually the first time I ever cracked open a can and I was 
expecting teeny little silvery fish to be inside.  Since my tin consisted
 of boneless and skinless sardines packed in oil, it definitely resembled 
tuna in my book.  Phew.  Only hubby was on hand to test the recipe before 
the post and we both concurred that it was nice - like tuna with a "kick".
 In full disclosure I am not a huge seafood fan.  I thought 
I was bound to dislike the result - at best.   But it was definitely way 
better than I ever dreamed and my husband "officially" liked it.
  Regardless - it was a fun adventure and Dorie once again took me 
 happily out of my comfort zone.  As usual.  Happy French Friday.


  1. You two are such fabulous FFWD team players & both of your recipes look gorgeous. What a neat idea to stuff the mix into the peppers- love it!

  2. Your sardine rillettes look absolutely delicious and I like the way you served it up! I may even try this for my next dinner party;-)

  3. Tricia - I'm with you this week, pleasantly surprised that it was far less scary than I had anticipated.

    And Nana - I bought those peppers to try to stuff them, but clearly I am not as nibble as you because I just ended up getting rillettes all over them and they were not pretty. Tasty, but not pretty. Yours look cocktail party ready.

  4. Peppadews are terrific, I bet that ended up being a good combination. I couldn't bring myself to the do the sardines and did tuna instead. Now I am feeling guilting. And Knorr's does make a great dip :) Happy French Friday!

  5. Oh, bless you both... Maybe if I had found a tuna like substance instead of, well... what I found, this would have gone better.

    Fun post & I now have an image of Nana as a house party hostess serving up all sorts of retro treats :-)

  6. Nana - very nice and colorful presentation! Reminds me of the French way of serving the sardine rillettes stuffed in hollowed-out cherry tomatoes or hard boiled eggs. Great post!

  7. Tricia - so glad you and your husband enjoyed the sardine rillettes. It might be hard to believe but one of my sons just could not stop eating them and my other kids gobbled them up too. And I am glad that they did because I had doubled the recipe - the sardines cans were rather large.

  8. You are brave! I didn't even try this one this week. AND I didn't end up making the proper recipe! LOL. Sigh.

  9. Great presentation, Nana! I love the way you stuffed the peppadews (which I just love the at). I'm glad that both of your liked this recipe, despite any apprehensions (that's for you, Tricia). BTW, I always enjoy onion soup mix dip. I say it can't really be a party without it.

  10. Nana's trip down memory lane sounds like a lot of fun... kind of reminds me of my own Nana's (Tita!) recipe and entertaining. Those stuffed peppers look so tasty. I also lucked with the 'tuna with a kick' sardines I chose. I lucked out because up until last week I hadn't bought or tried any sardines.

  11. I love this molded into a bombe! Thanks for the 70's memory of dips and spreads. Ah, clam dip. Must make that one. I must make this one too as I adore sardines and eat them out of a can for snacks. Served on a cracker with cornichon sounds more than perfect!

  12. Glad you both enjoyed this one! It's fun to see how everybody served it. I love peppadews and pickles, I wish I had tried those with the rillettes.

  13. Great presentation! It never dawned on me to try this with tuna. I love all dips made with packet soup mixes :)

  14. Both of your sardine rillettes turned out great, though I think I'd rather have one of those martinis Nana was talking about!

  15. I've never heard of the peppadew, and now I have to go do some research. I am now picturing Nana as some kind of Mad Men hostess. I wish you guys lived closer, because I feel like we could have some fun potlucks!

  16. I'm glad you both enjoyed it. Nana-your pepperdews look great stuffed with the sardine rillette. I wish I had put cornichons in mine because I think I would have liked it more. Tricia - I really like how you molded it. It is so pretty that way to serve with crackers.

  17. Nana! The saltines totally take me back to my childhood, spreading PB and jelly on them for after school snacks. My mom never made dips and things like this, so this was a neat recipe for me to make and something I would consider making for friends in the future :)
    Glad you both loved this one!

    Alice @

  18. Tricia & Nana, First, Nana, I'm with you on the Lipton Onion Soup Dip. That was one of my first dips in my short list of dips. Remember pigs-in-a-blanket? I think that's gone and made a comeback and gone and comeback!!!! Maybe I'd have done better with the sardines if I'd had a few martinis or scotch sours! Anyway, congratulations to you both for making this week's recipe, especially, you, Tricia. I turned a page and did the Rillettes de Thon. Loved it. Mary

  19. Nana, I love the onion soup mix and sour cream! I still use Knorrs for spinach dip (it is one of hubby's favorites). I like your use of the pickles, it makes me think of adding green olives which I love in tuna!

    Tricia, we were apprehensive about this recipe also, but I liked it, hubby was not thrilled, but that just meant leftovers for me!

  20. I wish my can of sardines looked like tuna instead of fish. I ate this a week ago, and still shudder at the memory. I'm going to daydream about onion soup mix with sour cream to cleanse my brain.

  21. I'm glad this was a hit for both of you - we really enjoyed it, too. Preparing the whole fish was a little fussy, so I think I might skip it (or get the kind you got, Tricia) next time.