When mackerel becomes sardines 

So ones again I havent been writing for a while, I do have a very good reason for this though.
Firstly, I have been staying at my mother in laws house for a week (I didn’t cook there at all).

Secondly, Baby Blip ended up in hospital with tonsilities and an ear infection, he had a high temperature, and we couldn’t bring it down. It was so scary to have our little boy becoming so sick. We spend one very long night in hospital where Baby Blip was treated with IV and medication; luckily we could go home the following afternoon. He is now back to normal, and it is lovely to have my little smiley, cheeky boy back.

Whilst he has been sick I haven’t really had time to cook but yesterday I managed to make “Fried Sardines with Tomatoes and warm Quinoa Salad”. Really it was supposed to be Mackerel, but my local Tesco didn’t have any Mackerels, neither pre-packed or from the fresh counter, but they did have loads of Sardines at the fresh counter 8 for £1.00. So the mackerel  became sardines. Sardines is another oily fish speices, but smaller than Mackerels, hence, 2 per person.

 I always forget to ask the fish monger to gut the fish, so I had to do that at home. I dont really mind especially as I do it neater than the Tesco fish monger and they weigh the fish before gutting them anyways, so you don’t pay more. It also reminds me of summer days with my dad, if we went fishing we had to gut the fish, which is a skill I’m happy to have learned. I also do think it’s important to understand where food comes from, that way I think you wastes less. It’s way to easy to burry your head in the sand.

Quinoa is now looked at as a health food and it really affect the price. It cost around £1.00 per 100g. An alternative to quinoa is Bulgur not as healthy but still delicious. You have to cook it slightly differently.

The recipe has been adapted from Jamies 15 minutes meal.

Fried Sardines with Tomatoes and warm Quinoa salad.


200g Quinoa

1 Lemon

300g Tomatoes, or around 4 medium sized (mixed colours makes it nicer)

A couple of sprigs of Fresh Coriander

1 Red Chilli or to taste

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
8 x 100g Sardines (or 4 x 200 g mackeral)

1 tbsp ground coriander

Olive oil

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 cloves of garlic
50 g plain youghurt

2 tsp Garlic Paste

A couple of sprigs of Fresh Coriander

Pepper to taste

Cooking method

1. The meassurements are 1 cup Quinoa to 2 cups boiling water. Place the quinoa in a pot with the water and a small pinch of salt and half a lemon. With the lid on let it boil and remember to stir now and then.

2. Whilst the qunioa is boiling score the sardines with slashes on both sides approximately 2 cm apart, be careful to not slice through the bone.

3. Now rub the coriander/salt and pepper into the fish, pour a bit of olive oil into the pan and place the fish on warm pan. Cook a few minutes on each side until done. This may have to be done in batches. Place the other half of the lemon on the frying pan so it goes nice and brownish.

4. Cut the tomatoes nicely, you can cut them whaterver way you wish, I like to slice mine, finely chop the chili and place tomatoes on a serving plate scattering the chili on top of tomatoes. I did one side with chillis and one without as not all 3 of us eat that spicy food.

5. When the quinoa has cooked (this takes around 10 minutes), drain it and squeeze over the juice from the lemon and add a bit of olive oil. But be careful to not burn the quinioa if the water disappears whilst cooking.

6. Then spoon all the qunioa into the midlle of the tomatoes and drizze with some balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

7. Lay the fish on top of the quinoa.

8. Mix youghurt with the garlic paste and finely chopped coriander and pepper, place in a bowl next to the platter.

9. Scatter a bit of coriander on top of the fish, add the half grilled lemon and serve.

Only bad thing about Sardines it the amount of bones in them. But they  taste lovely. If you have any sardines left over, you can take all the fish of the bone and mash up with some finely cut spring onions and olive oil and spread on bread the next day for lunch (I use rye bread, but I think that is my Danish part). Absolutely delecious.


Bon Appetit – As my grandad would have said


Quinoa = (£1.80/300g) x 200 g = £1.20

Lemon = £0.30 (Sainsbury)

Tomatoes = (£1.75) mixed coloured (Sainsbury)

Fresh Coriander = (£0.80 / 4) x 1 = £0.20 (Sainsbury)

Red Chilli = (£0.60 /4) = £0.15(Sainsbury)

Rosemary = (£0.80 /4) x 1 = £0.20 (Sainsbury)

Garlic (£0.30/10) x 2 = £0.06(Sainsbury)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (£3.50 /1000ml) x 45 ml = £0.16 (Sainsbury)

Balsamic Vinegar (£1.20 / 250 ml) x 30 ml = £0.14 (Sainsbury)

Sardines = £2.12 (Tesco)

Ground coriander = (£0.75/100g) x 10g = £0.08 (Sainsbury)

Plain youghurt =(£0.50 / 500g ) x30g = £0.03 (Sainsbury)

Garlic Paste = ££0.80 / 90g) X 10g = £0.09 (Sainsbury)

Salt and pepper £0.02

Total cost £6.50 Per Person £1.63

I always try a do the costing on Sainsbury and Tesco prices and at full price. I know I bought the fish and coriander much cheaper and some of the other things as well, however, it would not be a fair calculation to base it on the reduced price. Mostly because it may not possible to get it at the reduced price, next time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s