16:55 | Posted by Nim Headland | Category ,

Homemade Sardine Pate

Please excuse the uninspiring photo, pate is not the prettiest thing in world but I promise you, this one is gooood.
Sardine pate is one of a few really common 'petisco plates' or small bites served before a meal in Portugal, along with marinated olives and dense-textured bread. I love Portuguese food and think it's totally underrated, so expect a few Portugal-inspired recipes to pop up here from time to time.
This recipe for Sardine Pate is one I have adapted from a fantastic book on Portuguese cooking by Tessa Kiros. It's called Piri Piri Starfish and is beautiful, as are all her books.

To make about a ramekin of pate, you will need:

100g unsalted butter (best to get this out well in advance, it will process much better if it is soft)
1 teaspoon of sundried tomato paste. (Waitrose do an excellent one)
1 tin (about 120g) sardines in oil. It's really worth spending a few pence more and getting a tin of beautiful Portuguese sardines.
A splash of Scotch whisky. I often substitute Calvados. Both are lovely, but if you have neither don't rush out and buy a bottle, it won't do your pate much harm to be without it.
A pinch of ground piri-piri or dried chilli flakes.

Using a blender or food processor pulse together your butter, tomato paste and sardines to blend well. If you have neither blender nor processor (and I feel your pain) you can squish it all together in your hands (make sure the butter is very soft before attempting) and finish off with a pestle and mortar.
Add your splash of whisky, and sprinkle in the piri piri and a little salt, if you want. Blend or squish until smooth.

Cover and pop in the fridge for up to 4 days, taking it out well before serving so the butter is not rock hard.

This is fantastic in sandwiches with floppy lettuce leaves or cucumber, on rounds of textured country-style bread with some olives as a starter or snack. For a more English feel or a winter meal, serve as a starter with thin-sliced triangles of wholemeal toast or with melba toasts as a nibble with drinks.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. You're the first "foreigner" i've ever heard saying to enjoy Portuguese food, hehehe. Don't get me wrong, i'm Portuguese, but i may have been born in the wrong place, lol. I prefer meat over seafood, and beers anytime, and yes i don't drink wine, lol. Anyway, i'm embarassed by the fact you know how to make sardine pate, while i'm still the ignorant who prefers to buy canned pate, lol. Good work though ;)

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