Not what you think, but the real, fresh sardines from Portugal…. easy to cook, maybe not so elegant to eat…. olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, (lots) fresh cracked pepper and a smoking hot griddle. Mine is a ridged grill plate of cast iron bought by my parents at E. Dehillerin during the late ’70’s. The trick is to get the grill very hot with the griddle inside. Make sure that your grill/griddle is free of any stuck on bits by giving it a thorough brushing. Oil the griddle or grill rack. When the griddle is literally smoking hot, slap the fish onto it and cook for roughly 2-3 minutes a side. they will release from the cook surface when they are ready to turn. Squeeze a little more fresh lemon juice over the fish and serve piping hot.
Traditionally one would eat these as you would an ear of corn, sort of. Start at the top and scrap the meat from the bones eating top to bottom of the fish. I used a fork. But, I use a fork to peel and eat shrimp… . This is also an opportunity to use your bone plates.
Serve with a good, cold Sauvignon Blanc, a salad, some crusty bread and a marinated octopus salad as I did.