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Be inspired every day with Living North
Patricia Niven
November 2018
Reading time 3 minutes
One of the benefits of living on an island is an astonishing abundance of fish, and cold water oily fish is, in my opinion, the best in the world. You can use two mackerel instead of four sardines if you like and this is lovely when cooked on the barbecue.
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 scaled, gutted, butterflied sardines*
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp Belgian-style wheat beer
  • 80g white crab meat
  • 1 large red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 large wild garlic leaves, finely chopped (reserve any flowers for garnish – optional)
  • 60g goat’s milk yoghurt
  • large bunch of washed watercress, thick stems removed fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Ask your fishmonger to remove as many of the tiny bones as possible, from the sardines – they are not nice to eat!
  • For the dressing:
  • 6 tbsp groundnut, grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp creamed horseradish (or fresh and grated if you can get it) pinch of sugar

1. Preheat the grill (broiler) to its highest heat.

2. Make the dressing by mixing the oil, cider vinegar, horseradish and sugar in a clean jar. Seal and shake vigorously, then set aside. Very finely slice half the lemon. and lay on a roasting tray (pan). Reserve the other half of lemon for later.

3. Rub the sardines all over with butter and season the skin very lightly with salt. Put pepper on the flesh side. Carefully place the fish, cut side down, on top of the sliced lemons and set aside.

4. Heat a small saucepan over a medium heat and add the beer (it should cover the base of the pan). When the beer starts bubbling and is about to start evaporating, pop in the crab meat and gently swirl the pan. As the crab meat is gently heating, place the sardines under the grill until they are golden and crispy-skinned.

5. Turn off the grill and leave them in the bottom of the oven to rest. Take the crab meat off the heat and allow to cool a little.

6. Stir the chilli and garlic leaves gently into the beery crab meat, then add just enough of the yoghurt to bind it together.

7. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Place the watercress in a large bowl, drizzle with the dressing, then divide between the plates. Top with the sardines and a few roasted lemon slices. Dress with the crab mixture, garnish with the reserved flowers, if using, and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and more seasoning.

Dieu du Ciel! Blanche du Paradis – Canada
Blue Moon – USA
St Bernardus Wit – Belgium
Wäls Witte – Brazil

Allagash White – USA
Hitachino Nest White Ale – Japan
Jeffrey Special Brand – Brazil
Fantôme Blanche – Belgium
White Rabbit Ale – Australia

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