Serves 6 / One of the best food sources of antioxidant vitamin D, sardines also contain abundant anti-inflammatory omega-3s. This recipe tempers any “fishy” flavor in a spicy fish cake topped with a vitamin C–rich red pepper coulis (an easy-to-make sauce). Look for coarse-textured panko bread crumbs in the baking section.
1 (8-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained well (reserve 1 tablespoon juices)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 small shallot, chopped
1/2 pound trout fillets
2 (4-ounce) tins skinless, boneless sardines packed in olive oil, drained and finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1-2 jalapeños (to taste), seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole-wheat or plain panko bread crumbs, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons sesame or canola oil
1. In a food processor, purée roasted red peppers, vinegar, and shallot until smooth, adding reserved pepper juice if needed for smooth consistency. Transfer to small saucepan and stir over medium heat until warmed through; season to taste with salt and pepper. (Makes 1 cup.)
2. Preheat oven to 350˚. Place trout on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until just opaque in center and flakes with a fork, about 6–8 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and cool.
3. With a fork, flake trout fillets into large bowl. Add sardines, scallions, jalapeños, red bell pepper, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, and cumin and mix well. Mix in flour and 1 cup bread crumbs and toss to coat. Add beaten eggs to fish mixture, stirring well to incorporate.
4. Transfer remaining 1 cup bread crumbs to a bowl. Shape fish mixture into twelve 2-inch balls. Roll fish in bread crumbs; then flatten into patties, pressing on more bread crumbs as needed.
5. In a large skillet, heat oil. Fry patties for 4–5 minutes on each side or until crispy and brown. Keep warm until serving and serve with coulis.
PER SERVING: 350 cal, 15g fat (3g mono, 3g poly, 4g sat), 107mg chol, 26g protein, 30g carb, 6g fiber, 425mg sodium