2012/04/12

Really???? (French Fridays with Dorie: Sardine Rillettes)

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this post are purely reflective of my personal food aversions and are in no way meant to reflect on the recipe - 'cause if I had traded fish, I would have been totally happy. Just wanted to be clear up front, 'k?

Sometimes, you just know that it's not going to work out.

You have that gut feeling. But you still give your best shot. Try to be open minded and all that.

That being said, I think I have confirmed another food aversion.

Shredded coconut, check. Little black raisins, check. Canned beet, check. Green bell peppers, check. Sardines, double check. These items have a pretty solid ranking on my "things that can stay the heck away from me" list.


I tried so hard to wrap my head around the concept of sardine rillettes. A part of me was glad that we were tackling this one now. Swallow the bitter pill quickly, rip off the bandage, and all that.
So I went grocery shopping. Figured I would buy the most expensive tins of sardines that the store had. My inner voice told me that this was bound to be bad enough, why doom it from the start by buying the 99 cent can instead of the 3.49$ can. I debated whether to buy one tin for a half recipe or both for a full recipe. I bought two. Stupid me. I bought two cans.


I was in for it now. Go big or go home. No turning back.

It started out innocently enough. I creamed up the cream cheese. Juiced the limes. Minced the shallots and sliced the scallions. So far, not so scary.

And then, I opened the first can. I caught the visual. Things were not looking good. And then, this horrible smell reached my nose. Oh, Mother of Pearl. The smell. Such a horrifying smell. But I persevered, thinking that it would get better once all everything was mixed together. Citrus juice tends to cover up a world of sins, right?

Lime hulls help minimize the stench of sardines on your skin. Just sayin'
At this point, I noted that said sardines may need to be "deboned". As I looked into the tin of nastiness, I realized that the still attached tails were very likely a sign of that deboning - despining or whatever had to be done.

So, I pinched the flesh of the first fish and sure enough, there was ooze and little fishy bones that had to come out. Gaaaa. I am sure there is some trick to getting it done neatly, but revulsion was in control, so I just started pinching off what ever would come and stopped caring how much was left on the tail. Oh, it was so gross.

And the stench. The stench - couldn't get it off my hands. I washed and washed and washed - it was like a bad dream. In an act of desperation, I ran the juiced out halves of limes over my hands. It helped. A lot.

It was worse than the naked chicken. And a close tie to the salmon in a jar.




The deed was done. The rillettes were made, covered and placed in the refrigerator to await the final verdict.

I had carefully selected my victims, um taste testers. My parents. Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I am going to emphatically state that I love my parents very much.

Serving the rillettes to them was absolutely not a ploy to punish them for making me eat liver and onions or beets when I was a child. I am a good daughter. I am not vindictive like that.

This was my logic: I figured since they liked liver and onions and stuff like that, they might not hate it as much as I did. I wasn't trying to poison them or scare them or anything.

We all took our obligatory bites of it on a cracker. My mom said the cracker helped (I think that might have been a euphemism). I think my dad did better. I was with my mom - a thank you bit was more than enough for me... My parents will probably never come to eat at my house again - they are probably afraid of what might show up next. Rightfully so. Sometimes, I scare myself.

Now the real surprise came the next day when I stuck the crock of rillettes in front of The Dude and said "try it". I wouldn't tell him what it was. He ate it and went back for seconds. I told him it was sardines. He said that he didn't like sardines but he liked this. Then he started popping pickled grapes on top of the crackers & spread.

Hello, Louis, we finally found a taker.

And that, my friends is the tale of the sardine rillettes. If I ever were to revert to being a vegetarian, this would have been a great time to do so... At the least, it is probably a pretty good indicator that I don't have what it takes to be truly cosmopolitan or a Survior candidate... Bear Grylls, I am not.
Peace out.

 

This post participate in French Fridays with Dorie. Please check the LYL for "sardine rillettes" to see how everyone else made out. I know I'm pretty curious.

On a random side note, The Karate Kid received her driver's permit today and The Runner Girl takes her road test tomorrow. If the sardines didn't make me nauseous, the thought of both the girls on the road sure does. Sigh.

44 comments:

  1. Hee... I guess I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum. I discovered that I don't mind sardines that much! Truth be told, I had never had one before, much to the disbelief of my ILs. Silly husband though the rilletes without onion would be the perfect treat for the cat. At least your Dad enjoyed them!

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  2. Oh, Cher...I'm sitting here at my desk debating on whether I should just do a Dorie recipe I missed in the beginning, or have John take me out to dinner. I absolutely cannot do this week's recipe and your post just flat out confirms it. But you're a trooper, and a funny gal!

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    1. Me too - I have been debating the sardines, and feeling guilty that I did the tuna rillette instead.

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  3. LOL. I actually kinda liked this, but wish I had toned down the onions given that I ate it all in one hit - believe me, that was a lot of onion. But I liked the little fishies, even though their little spines looked like worms to me when I took them out, and I have a spare can of 69 cent sardines for another day - perhaps just as they are on toast this time. Have a great weekend. (PS - I skipped salmon in a jar - ewwww.)

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  4. Thanks for the laugh - I really needed it:) I enjoyed your culinary escapade wholeheartedly and snickered while I was reading!
    I grew up with sardines and the smell does not bother me a bit. We ate the bones, too, as they would almost disintegrate (I don't want to gross you out even more:)
    Never had sardine rillettes, but it sounds like something that my family would enjoy.
    You are funny and I love visiting your blog:) I hope you have a great day!

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  5. I'm laughing so hard ;) (sorry)
    At least you read the recipe properly and - ahem - made the right one. Ahem.

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  6. You have confirmed my steadfast viewpoint that sardines do not belong in my house. I've been feeling guilty about doing the tuna rillette in stead (which by the way was awesome - the curry really makes that pop) and was going to the store in the morning to by the nasty little sardines. However, since the mere sight of them in the tin from your photos is making my stomach squeamish, I think I may have to stick with my alternative. Unless I have major guilt between now and tomorrow. Good for you!

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    1. I love most fish - even anchovies - but these, I just could not deal with. I have about 40 pounds of tuna still in my freezer from last summer - wish I had used some of that instead!

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  7. Um, yeah, how are you supposed to debone those little fish? I haven't had sardines for many years; I haven't felt the need to give them another try.

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  8. I laughed all the way through this! You are such a FFWD trooper -through thick and thin!

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  9. "the cracker helped..." hahahaha! Good one, mom. :)

    Yeah. Pretty much how I would have felt too if I had gotten as far as you. I got the package opened, even started to get the bones out a little. Then took a little taste to see if it was really bad. It was. The cat ended up getting my sardines this week! (she loved them!)

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  10. I'm so proud of you for giving this a try! You really are a trooper. There are some foods which we are just never going to like, but it is good to retest ourselves every once in a while.

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  11. Hilarious! Kudos for making the dish anyway, despite your aversion.

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  12. Great story, made me laugh. And you found one person who liked it!

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  13. Very funny blog post - I enjoyed reading it! Looks like your are not going to enjoy next weeks recipe much eiher since the recipe selected calls for shredded coconut. But I am sure that it will make for another very funny blog post again! I am already looking forward to it!

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  14. Well, I applaud you for trying... Your mom had the best line. I think we can see where you get your sense of humor. Some people have the same feeling about anchovies (not me, some people), so you just never can tell. Tastes are just so personal. Congrats to the girls on their driving progress. Have a great weekend.

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  15. I agree with Betsy, good kfor you for trying. I couldn't face it!

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  16. LOL...I love your mom's comment! You are a GOOD sport!

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  17. I am totally with you. My dislike took a more extreme form....glad The Dude enjoyed them though!

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  18. Ah, a team player you are- I loved reading your post; way to go trying it out on the parentals- your Mom's comment was classic. I, also, had to stifle the gag reflex when deboning & feeling around in that tin- oh my!!

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  19. You are to be commended for doing this desire your bias against going into it. Seriously! I adore sardines and will be doing this one before the end of the day.

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  20. I'm with you on this one! I really wanted to like this and tried to have an open mind, but as soon as I opened the can, smelled them, and started de-boning I just knew it wasn't for me. I love the idea of feeding it to your parents, too funny!

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  21. You have to wonder how some of these recipes come about (and stick). I salute you for powering through! (I think I'll be skipping the other FFwD blogs today ... the mere thought of this recipe made me set my morning bagel aside.) And {hugs} for your growing family of drivers. :) P.S.: Blog's looking great!

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  22. I think if you had fresh sardines you would feel very differently! Things in cans never smell as lovely as fresh things. But good for you for giving it a go. And for the record, I like sardines but boy do I dislike liver and onions. Well, just the liver part.

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  23. Got a giggle out of this! :) At least they still love you! A small penance for the things parents make you eat or try as a child... plus, maybe you would have LOVED it! At least you gave it a shot and how great is your presentation?? :)

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  24. Way to forge through the recipe! I agree the smell is a little strong. I think you have to start eating them as a child. This is a very food-picky month of recipes. Hope next week goes better (but it's coconut...)

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  25. LOL and rolling on the floor! OMG--seriously, Cher. The two can decision, the price comparison--all of this rings so true for, I'm sure, MOST of us women out there. Gotta love Dorie and all her French-inpsiredness. Uh, but this one. Never. And love your mom's, "the cracker helps!"

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  26. OMG, two teens with permits, my heart goes out to you. I can still remember Tricia and
    her brother having theirs. Surprising, we all live thru this. Good luck. Your post is hilarious
    and I give you credit for finishing this recipe considering the ingredients.

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  27. I'm with you, they were stinky little fish. I couldn't even take a proper bite, only a very small taste from the spoon.

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  28. Hah, great post. I had a tough time with this one, too. Can't say I blame you.

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  29. What a great tale, Cher. I'm glad the Dude loved these. My daughter also does - she made tacos out of it. :) Sounds like it is a big week for the girls in your house. Have a fun weekend!

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  30. I can't believe you bought two tins! I halved the recipe and there's still a full jar of it in my fridge! I didn't want to be a coward about the whole thing, but I don't know what I gained from making this dish!! Awesome post!

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  31. Cracking me up, girl. I like them, but I do agree w/you about The Smell -- ooo wieeeeee. I uncovered my little dish at a dinner party -- wonder if I'll be invited back...

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  32. Cracking me up, girl. I like them, but I do agree w/you about The Smell -- ooo wieeeeee. I uncovered my little dish at a dinner party -- wonder if I'll be invited back...

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  33. Cracking me up, girl. I like them, but I do agree w/you about The Smell -- ooo wieeeeee. I uncovered my little dish at a dinner party -- wonder if I'll be invited back...

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  34. There's something to be said for living vicariously through your friends! Thanks for taking the hit on this one! UGH! Your description is so vivid that I'm thankful that we don't have the "smell-o-vision" I so often long for when seeing lovely baked goods on blogs!

    Have a terrific weekend! xoxo

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  35. Cher, I cannot stop laughing. You were such a trooper about this.......you've been talking about it for more than two weeks. But, this Post was worth the $8 or whatever you paid for the sardines. Big Spender. Isn't next week coconut. I made the Navarin Printanier tonight. It's delicious. Help is on the way...... Mary PS Unlike Christy, I don't feel one damn but guilty for making the tuna rillettes. It is delicious.

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  36. I already knew I didn’t like sardines, and I don’t eat them in a house or with a mouse…I don’t eat them anywhere! I give you kudos for trying!

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  37. You have the best posts! Too funny! It was easier for me, mostly because I got the sardines that were already de-skinned and de-boned. I didn't mind them, but hubby was not a fan, they probably won't be making a repeat visit.

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  38. Cher, you had me in stitches laughing. Well written description of the trials and tribulations of eating something that one doesn't like. Brings back childhood dinner memories.

    Thumbs up for a great post.

    ~Carmen
    http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com

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  39. At least you can say you tried it, which is what FFWD is all about. And The Dude like it!

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  40. You made this recipe into an adventure! Travelling rillettes...

    Your photos were certainly worth the pain; they're lovely. We really enjoyed these, so much so that I now know that one batch of rillettes generously fill exactly eighteen Saint-Germain-des-Prés biscuits.

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  41. I'm with you, Cher. This stuff was nasty, from start to finish. At least we never need to eat it again.

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  42. How funny, I said the same exact thing when I saw this recipe. So glad Lizzy shared you with us. Love your commentary on the recipes.
    -Gina-

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