by Saul Bolton, Chef/Owner of Saul in Boerum Hill, The Vanderbilt in Prospect Heights, and the soon-to-open Red Gravy in Brooklyn Heights
The feast of the Seven Fishes has become an annual Christmas Eve dinner we really look forward to at Saul. We have been cooking it now for ( including this year) eight years. It started with a desire to do something special on Christmas Eve – something that the regular customers would enjoy and that would change the pace a bit for the staff.
The inspiration for the dinner came from our favorite custmer Tony Didio who grew up in Carroll Gardens. His description of his experiences growing up with the feast of the seven fishes did it for me.
I always love the sense of tranquilty that Christmas Eve brings to the streets of Brooklyn, combined with the wonderful smells smells of the kitchen. It gives me a brief sense of relief from the hectic season. We look forward to doing it in the future at our upcoming restaurant Red Gravy at 151 Atlantic Ave. Happy Holidays.
Stuffed Sardines, Catania Style
- 12 sardines boned, with head removed and tail on
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup pecorino, grated
- 1/2 cup grana padano, grated
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- zest of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon chili flakeRed wine vinegar
1. Spritz sardines with vinegar and let stand for 20 minutes.
2. Drain sardines and pat dry- line them up flat on work surface.
3. Moisten breadcrumbs with vinegar- sqeeze dry.
4. Mix wrung out bread in a bowl with the cheese, parsley, lemon zest, and chili flake.
5. Divide the stuffing in six and spread on the flesh side of six of the sardines – now top each stuffed sardine filet with another sardine filet placed flesh side down on the stuffed sardine creating a sandwich effect.
6. Oil a baking dish with a little olive oil and place sardine carefully in dish. Bake at 375 for 8- 10 minutes.
7. Serve with a sqeeze of lemon and sprinkle of parsley.
Saul is located at 140 Smith Street in Boerum Hill. They’re hosting their eighth annual Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, featuring swordfish, bacalao, clams, sea urchin, peekytoe crab, squid, shrimp, fluke, rouget…and more. Call 718.935.9844 for reservations.