1 small shallot, thinly sliced, slices separated into rings
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
Four 4- to 4 1/2-ounce cans of large sardines in olive oil—drained, halved
lengthwise and boned
Preheat the broiler. In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mustard, the parsley, butter, shallot and crushed red pepper. Season lightly with salt.
In a medium, shallow baking dish, whisk the heavy cream with the remaining 1 tablespoon of mustard.
Arrange the sardines in the baking dish, skin side down. Scatter the bread-crumb mixture on top. Broil the sardines 6 inches from the heat for 1 minute and 30 seconds, or until heated through and golden brown. Serve at once.
A tart, palate-cleansing Italian white will check the assertive flavors here. Consider a Pinot Grigio.