I love sardines packed in olive oil, especially those with a kick to it. One of the best quick meals I can think of is a bowl (or a plate) of hot steamed rice with a can of these sardines on it.
For the longest time, I've been wanting to make "sardinas na bangus," which can be translated as "milkfish done in the style of sardines" -- that is to say, milkfish usually packed in a jar or bottle swimming in either a tomato-based or an olive-oil based sauce.
Our Yaya used to make a very good version of sardinas na bangus. I would request quite frequently that she make it, always preferring the olive-oil version and asking her to make it quite spicy.
Once we moved away, to satisfy cravings and pangs for this dish, I would buy the ones in jars. But they never tasted as good as the one my Yaya made, and furthermore, I found them to be quite expensive, costing as much as $5 dollars for a very small bottle with about 3 or 4 thin pieces of bangus.
When I asked Yaya how to make sardinas na bangus a couple of years back, she asked me if I had a pressure cooker.
Oh? Pressure cooker?
Pressure cooker with scary knobs and dials.
That distracted me from listening too closely while Yaya rattled off the recipe. Somehow, even though apparently our Yaya had been using pressure cookers for years, in our house, in our kitchen, I still picked up a fear of pressure cookers, viewing them as bombs waiting to go off.
Finally, several months ago, I did buy a pressure cooker. Being too lazy to read the manual, I had CSC read the manual for the safety instructions. She came back with so many warnings and various scenarios of disaster that I had decided to just return the darn thing and be done with it.
No sardinas na bangus for me.
The next day, however, CSC had a change of heart. She looked at the instructions and warnings again and decided they weren't so bad after all, that using the pressure cooker is safe. Clasping hands with tears brimming in our eyes, we hugged as we overcame our deep-seated fear of pressure cookers.
So we go on to this brand new day, free from fear, and free to make my long, anticipated sardinas na bangus.
Dump ingredients into the pressure cooker:
Garlic cloves (they don't even have to be peeled!), onion, carrot, green and red bell peppers, birds' eye chili peppers (or red pepper flakes), bay leaves, cloves, olives, and salt and pepper.
And of course, milkfish and olive oil.
Then turn the pressure on![js]
Sardinas na bangus is basically an "edgier" dump-in-a-pot recipe, because, of course, no matter how long we clasped our hands and turned our watery eyes heavenward in thanks for overcoming our phobia, there still lurks the very real danger of injuring one's self and others from an exploding pressure cooker.
I love this recipe, because there's the added bonus of milkfish bones being soft and edible. Everything in the pot is soft and edible, even the fish scales! Scaling is actually not recommended as they will hold the fish pieces together.
Soft and edible fish: scales, bones and all!
Is it just me? I must be getting old because I can still remember the time when milkfish had lots and lots of little bones that were just pesky to eat. This was before the time the bangus industry started creating and breeding bangus to be the boneless wonder that is the norm today.
Sardinas na Bangus ("Milkfish in the style of sardines")
Makes approximately 6 servings
2 milkfish, gutted and cleaned (scaling optional, as the scales keeps the steaks from falling apart too much), cut into 1.5-inch steaks
12 garlic cloves
1 onion, sliced into rings
1 carrot, sliced into coins
half a green pepper
half a red pepper
2 birds' eye chili peppers (or red pepper flakes)
2 dried bay leaves
6 whole cloves
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp whole pepper
a handful of olives (optional)
2 cups of olive oil
water (you might need to add water to cover the milkfish)
Put all ingredients in the pressure cooker. You may need to add water to cover the milkfish. Follow pressure cooker instructions. Usually, one batch cooks for 35-45 minutes in the pressure cooker.
Enjoy as a meal over white rice. Or, one can serve them as appetizers, or as part of several tapas dishes.
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[eatingclub] Philippine/Filipino food
pages and pages of Filipino dishes!
Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish "Omelette")
Roast Duck and Orange Crêpes with Orange-White Wine Sauce
Sardinas na Bangus (Milkfish in the style of Sardines)
Red Wine-braised Squid with Potatoes and Chorizo
Philippine Beef Salpicao (and a Spanish variation)
Stewed Tripe, Spanish-style
Lengua Estofada (Beef Tongue Braised in Red Wine and Veal Stock)
Bacalao con Patatas (Baked Salt Cod and Potatoes)
Salsa Romesco ("Queen of the Catalan Sauces!")
Grilled Calçots (Green Onions) with Salsa Romesco
Empanada de Pavo
(Galician-style Meat Pie with Turkey Filling), plus Turkey Cracklings!
Fideuá (Spanish Seafood Noodle "Paella")... and Paella
Cocido (Spanish Stew with Various Pork Cuts)
Slow-Roast Pork Shoulder, Two Ways