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Salacche Inglese (Cornovaglia) con polenta Sale Speziato
(English Salt fish with spiced polenta)
Every summer without fail a shoal of sardines swam across the channel, towards the warm shores of Cornwall. A dedicated marksman perched atop the hill kept an eye on the approaching train of shimmering fish shouting “Hevva Hevva” upon spotting the prized catch. Alert fishermen cast their nets, catching the prized fish, which was then prepared, salted, packed symmetrically in barrels, stenciled and shipped back to the shores of Catholic fish eating countries in the Mediterranean. Genoa in Italy was one such port of call a few centuries back. My recipe today is a modern twist on the amazing blend of ancient and modern eating habits, in the perspective of Cornish sardines. Nick and Mithe Howell are passionate producers, who care more about keeping the traditions than earning surplus money by exploiting the sea. Over the years, the market and demand for Cornish fish has dwindled, due to alternate cheaper sources, and modern methods of industrial fishing. Slow fish is a platform to rekindle the interests in restoring the pride of origin of a delicacy that is so proper to Cornwall, and the people who earn a living catching it, from shore to plate.
Recipe Estimated Prep Time: 10 minutes Estimated Cooking Time: 20 minutes Ingredients 100 Cornish Sardines/Herrings fillets 250 g Cumin Seeds ground 1 pkt(10 g) Saffron strands 4 Kg Polenta 2 Kg Fish bones for stock 20 Lemons 2 Kg Roquette 2 Trays Cherry tomatoes on vine 1 Kg White Onion 4 Bay leaves
100 ml Olive oil 1 Kg Peanuts Salted 250 g Whole Grained mustard Directions 1. Prepare a fish stock, using the fish bones and onions and bay leaves. 2. Simmer the stock for 15 minutes and strain through a fine sieve. 3. In a hot deep pan, heat up the oil and cook the cumin seeds. 4. Add a few ladlefuls of fish stock to the pan, and soak the saffron strands in it. 5. Pour the Polenta into the pan, and keep stirring. 6. Ladle the rest of the fish stock, slowly into the polenta mix, and keep stirring until it is creamy and boiling off the sides. 7. Finish the polenta with salted peanuts and grain mustard seeds. 8. Place the delicate, salted sardines under a grill, to warm through. 9. Serve the salted sardines on a bed of spiced polenta, with a drizzle of roquette leaves, cherry tomatoes and a lemon wedge.