Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sardines in Marinade

Sardines and tomatoes--today an ubiquitous snack to spread on crackers out of a tin--but in the 18thC Century, a delicious treat in countries that bordered the Mediterranean. Tomatoes arrived in France from Italy and Spain, but weren't eaten in the ways we think of until the end of the 18thC century. A sauce with tomato was served to Marie Antoinette, and after the Revolution, it became a mainstay, especially in Provence.

Sardines are a very oily fish and are best grilled and/or marinated--sardines in mustard or tomato sauce are today found on many grocers'shelves the world over. Try this marinade on fresh sardines, either after grilling or by baking the fish in the sauce.

Une autre sorte de marinade pour des poissons peut être faite, après qu'ils aient été faits frire de cette manière ; laissez quelques tranches de citron ou d'orange être mis dans la poêle avec les feuilles de compartiment, le beurre de raffinage, les échalotes, le poivre, le sel, la noix de muscade, et le vinaigre, et laissez cette sauce être versé sur les poissons ; comme des semelles, des congers, des sardines, le thon coupé en tranches rondes et etc.

Le cuisinier royal et bourgeois, Massialot. Paris, 1691

J'ai employé la peau d'orange et ai épluché, ai semé et ai coupé la tomate et ai réduit la sauce résultante d'un demi-. Cette sauce me rappelle la « sauce piquante » - il est très bon.

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Another sort of marinade for fish may be made, after they have been fried in this manner; let some slices of lemon or orange be put into the frying pan with bay leaves, refined butter, chibbols[shallots], pepper, salt, nutmeg, and vinegar, and let this sauce be poured upon the fish; such as soles, congers, pilchards [sardines], tunnies cut into round slices & etc.

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 153.

I used orange peel and peeled, seeded and chopped tomato and reduced the resulting sauce by one half. This sauce reminds me of 'sauce piquant' - it is very good.

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