A Quick Random Recipe, Then Off To Sunny Spain

Two weeks of school holidays have just begun and as usual, it’s very important to think of activities to keep the kids occupied and happy or face days of endless whining and bickering. So I am very pleased to say that I am off to Spain for a few days with my two little angels and my Mum…Just what the doctor ordered.

We are so lucky to be able to hop in the car and drive for a mere four hours to reach the Spanish coast. The weather is milder there although calling it ‘sunny’ might be a bit of a stretch. But it should be about 12-14 degrees, certainly nice enough to take walks on the beach and grab some tasty tapas.

Random Recipes LogoBut before I go, I wanted to write up a recipe to enter into the Random Recipe Challenge hosted by Dom from Belleau Kitchen. This is my first time on Random Recipes and I think it’s a great challenge, the idea being to just let a cookery book fall open on a recipe and then cook it, forcing you to experiment with dishes you may otherwise never have made.

For this round you could pick the cookery book of your choice so I went for Goose Fat & Garlic by Jeanne Strang. I picked this one as I have not cooked much from it but I always mean to as I am fascinated by traditional recipes from South West France (where I live). Normally the simplicity and frugalness of ingredients come together to produce dishes that are powerful and remarkable. And the random recipe that I landed upon was no exception.

Les Sardines Fraiches en Escabeche (Sardines in a Spice Sauce) pg 141 was the recipe and my goodness it was just perfect for me! I love sardines so I was delighted to have alighted on this one, simply fried and then strewn with vinegary peppers, onions and herbs. Typically simple and completely delicious.

Sardine Escabeche Spicy Sauce

Escabeche is a Provencal word which is fitting as this dish feels very Summery, light and Mediterranean. A great dish for me to talk about before I head off on a mini break as it evokes that holiday feeling, fresh flavours and lovely warm colours on your plate.

Being of greedy disposition, I jiggled the portions a little to make a more substantial meal than the recipe caters for. And I served my fish with some couscous fluffed up with lemon juice and mint.

So if like me, you’ve just about had it with the Winter, than this dish will cheer you up and remind you that warmer times are just around the corner.

Les Sardines Fraiches En Escabeche (Sardines in a Spicy Sauce)

Serves 2


6 fresh sardines (I bought mine ready butterflied)

2 tbsp plain flour

salt, pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 red pepper, deseeded & cubed

a pinch of thyme

4 leaves of fresh mint

2 tbsp vinegar ( I used Red Wine Vinegar)

  • Put the flour on a plate and season well. Then dust your fish lightly in the flour. Heat 1 1/2 tbsp of oil in a pan and fry your fish until cooked through and golden, around 3-4 minutes each side. Transfer to an oven dish and keep warm.
  • Add the rest of the oil to the pan and fry your onion, garlic, peppers and herbs. Cook until your onion begins to colour and then pour in the vinegar and let it reduce a little.
  • Pour your sauce over the fish and serve either hot or cold.

Now how simple is that? Believe me, this dish packs a wonderful punch and I can’t wait to cook it again. I look forward to eating it alongside a glass of cold rose wine outside in the sunshine….hopefully not too far off now!

Sardine Escabeche Finished Dish

I am also entering this recipe into Lavender & Lovages Herbs On A Saturday challenge.

Herbs on Saturday

14 thoughts on “A Quick Random Recipe, Then Off To Sunny Spain”

  1. oooh, I adore sardines and simply don’t eat them enough!… what a glorious glorious dish as a first entry for random recipes… you are so lucky to have chosen this… I love your blog and this is a lovely entry, so thank you so much and i’m glad you had fun doing it x

    1. Thanks Dom, I am so pleased you like the blog 🙂 That makes me very happy indeed. I look forward to future fun entries now that I have popped my cherry !

  2. Loving the idea of summery food to bring on the sunshine! Especially as it’s been so bitter round here this weekend hasn’t it? But lucky you escaping the worst of it for a few days heading to the slightly sunnier climes of Northern Spain – hope you have a fab time and lots of tasty tapas. Love sardines too, and this sounds like a wonderful recipe. We’re about to eat your Pulled Pork with Roquefort this afternoon and I’m sooo excited!.

    1. Spain was great, I did indeed enjoy some tapas and I certainly started to feel very summery! Crazy to think I am home now and will be ski-ing in the Pyrenees this weekend. We do have the best of everything here eh! And thanks for all the lovely compliments on the pork dish. I am so happy you enjoyed it. It’s a favourite of mine xx (hope you are having fun in the UK too)

  3. I agree with Dom on this one – I love sardines but I don’t eat them as often as I could. This is a lovely dish. Have a great time in Spain. You’ve got me longing for fine Spanish seafood and tapas on this cold February night.

    1. Hi Phil! Glad you like the recipe. It really is tasty and worth seeking out those sardines for. Spain was lovely thank you and I did indulge myself with some tasty tapas and a few sangrias! My 2 year old son was most taken with deep fried Elvas believe it or not! Quite the gourmet!

    1. Hi Karen, yes I agree. In fact, the recipe says it works we also for Red Mullet which would be very tasty also. The piquant sauce really is fresh and summery… Spain was lovely by the way and much enjoyed by all. Thanks for popping by x

  4. That looks very nice! So far I haven’t really managed to eat fish regularly, but it’s not so easy to get good fish around here.
    Good you can enjoy a nice trip to Spain. When I asked my doctor about perscribing me a trip to a place somewhere warm, he didn’t react, although it would be quite cheaper than what he is actually perscribing me.

    1. Hi Chris, thanks, glad you like the recipe. Thanks for stopping by and letting me find your blog in return. Very nice! I love the sound of your Bloggers Around The World Challenge…is it still running? I couldn’t find any info for March?

  5. Mm, sardines are great… fresh ones though. Tinned ones are a bit “meh”. Don’t eat them nearly enough as I should but I’m on a real fish kick these days!

    School holidays, eh? That explains why the school near my apartment is deserted when I drive past it in the mornings on my way to work – lol. Poor kids… it must be a hard life, going to school for a month or two and then having long holidays! 😀

    Enjoy your time away Anneli 🙂

    1. I agree, tinned sardines are indeed ‘meh’! We had a lovely little break in Spain thanks Charles. Lots of lovely tapas and rather warmer weather than here. I eagerly await the ‘true’ arrival of Spring which must is surely just round the corner !

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