This sardine recipe from Scott Simpson, owner/chef at Blue Onion Bistro, was a big hit with the Times tasting panel.
3 cans (3.75 ounces each) sardines in tomato sauce
¼ cup finely minced shallot
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
¼ cup chopped green onions
1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon Paul Prudhomme Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning (see note)
4 to 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 to 5 tablespoons Vietnamese chili sauce or sambel oolek
French bread baguette
2 tablespoons softened butter or olive oil
1. Pour the sardines into a bowl with the tomato sauce. Split the sardines with your fingers, removing the little bones. Add the shallots, olives, green onions and cherry tomatoes.
2. Stir the seasoning mix into the mayonnaise; stir in the chili sauce, mixing well. Pour over the sardine mixture, mixing gently. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to blend the flavors.
3. Split the baguette down the length and put onto a baking sheet cut-side up. Spread with softened butter or brush with olive oil. Toast under a hot broiler. Pile the filling on the bottom of the bread and replace the top, pressing down lightly. Cut into eight pieces, serving two to a person.
Note: We found the seasoning mix at Larry's Market; the chili sauce can be found at Asian markets and some major supermarkets.