June 03, 2010

Sardine fillets with caper & vodka butter

This is another ingenious recipe from "The Food and Cooking of Finland" (by Anja Hill). I must agree with her though: Finns would have traditionally never considered "wasting" precious vodka for cooking (some might still argue that), but we are not talking about litres here, only a mere tablespoon or two, plus maybe some for the chef. Sardines are yet again playing the role of Baltic herring.

Sardine fillets with caper & vodka butter

50g fresh breadcrumbs

600g sardine fillets


100g butter, softened

15ml vodka (Finlandia or Absolut for the "authentic" taste)

1 tbsp capers

crushed black pepper

Preheat oven to 200C. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of the breadcrumbs over the base of an ovenproof dish. Put the softened butter in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Then whisk in the vodka, capers and black pepper.

Season the fish with salt and fold each fillet in half so that the skin sides are on the outside. Arrange the fillets in the prepared dish.

Spread the butter over the fish, then sprinkle over the remaining breadcrumbs. Bake the fish in the oven for 20 minutes or until the top is crisp and golden.