Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sardine Cheese Spread

Sardine Cheese Spread
contributed by Dr. Michelle Kunz, friend of Dr. Bobb (via Woman's Day circa 1978)
Another contribution from Dr. Kunz, this one cribbed, apparently, from Woman's Day magazine circa 1978.  A good year, '78. I seem to remember getting my first non-dorky haircut, as well as a short-lived crush on my ultra-Christian sixth-grade teacher Mr. Burkle. But I digress.

I'm not opposed to sardines as an ingredient:  I remember Dr. Mother making a delicious sardine salad, as an alternative to the pedestrian tuna variety, round about 1978 or so. And, of course, Dr. Father, his taste buds and decorum deadened during the big war, would just fish them out of the can and drop them down his gullet, regardless of what medium (oil, water, mustard sauce) they had been packed in.

Nor am I opposed to cottage cheese: I fondly remember a time - again, circa 1978 - when I joined Dr. Mother in her Weight Watchers diet, and enjoyed breakfast after breakfast of low-fat cottage cheese piled high onto wheat toast and sprinkled with Sweet-n-Low and cinnamon.

Other notable events of 1978:

January 28: The Doobie Brothers make a guest appearance on TV's What's Happening.
April 22: The Blues Brothers make their first appearance on Saturday Night Live. 
November 17: The Star Wars Holiday Special, the greatest television broadcast in the history of the medium, airs on CBS.

But I digress.

Here's the recipe, if you're still interested:
1 can (3 3/4 oz) skinless, boneless sardines 1 c. cottage cheese 2 med. green onions with tops, minced, divided 1 T. lemon juice 2 tsp Worcestershire 1/4 tsp salt Paprika
In food processor or blender puree all ingredients except 2 T. onions and the paprika until smooth and well blended. Pack in 2 small shallow bowls or au gratin dishes. Sprinkle with paprika and onions. Cover airtight and refrigerate. Will keep about 1 week. Serve on crackers. 1 1/2 cups.
I attempted to making this in the blender, thinking that it would make everything authentic. But I quickly discovered the reasoning behind Electric Blender Recipe's strong admonitions that ingredients be added exactly in the order listed...I glopped the cottage cheese in first, and the sardines last, and so the sardines floated, unmolested, on top of the mound of cottage cheese, no matter how long the blender ran. I finally had to transfer the whole kit and kaboodle to the food processor to finish it off.
Once blended, I found I had significantly less than the cup-and-a-half that the recipe said I would have. More like 3/4 cup. "Will keep about 1 week" the recipe cheerily advises. "Unless you dump it down the disposal." Which you will, because it's awful.
I was honestly surprised at Dr. Husband's initial positive reaction, for as he says he hates sardines. And even I, raised on a steady diet of horrible tasting things like creamed codfish, pickled herring, and scrambled eggs and brains, foujnd my first taste almost unpalatable. Here's what we thought:

Our Rating: Four Screaming Husbands!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)


  1. At least your presentation was nice!

  2. Perhaps if you sauteed the sardines in some olive oil first? Or is that cheating?

    It did look fetching on the plate!