Grilled Sardines With Charred Peppers

Fall 2015

From chef-owner George Mendes of Lupulo in New York

2 poblano peppers
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt
sherry vinegar
6 fresh sardines, gutted and cleaned
2 tablespoons flour
Maldon sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh chopped
parsley leaves
1 lemon, sliced into 4 wedges

Turn the oven to broil and line a rimmed sheet pan with foil. With a knife, cut a few slits in the peppers. Lightly coat them with olive oil and season generously with kosher salt. Place the peppers on the sheet pan and slide under the broiler, turning occasionally, until blackened and collapsed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a dish and cover with plastic wrap.

When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and remove the stems and seeds. Cut the peppers into 1/2-inch-wide strips and toss in a bowl with olive oil and sherry vinegar to taste. Let stand at room temperature to marinate while you cook the sardines.

Lightly coat the sardines with flour and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Place the sardines in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until the sardines’ flesh is firm to the touch, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Arrange the sardines on 2 serving plates, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle Maldon sea salt on top of them. Garnish with parsley. Serve with the marinated peppers and lemon wedges.

Yield: 2 servings

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