Cook with your kids! Home Made Sardine Rillettes – Cuisinez avec vos enfants! Rillettes de sardines maison

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(En Français plus bas)

Piano lessons, soccer, drawing and painting lessons, tennis or pony riding; all are fine activities for our children. But what about cooking lessons?

Taking time to teach our kids how to cook and how to eat is (or should be) a priority. It is such an amazing opportunity to spend time together and create long lasting habits that will contribute to their health and positive relationship with food.

It’s fun, it’s easy and just think of the tons of fresh organic veggies you can buy for the price of a pony!


Here is a great little recipe you can start with:

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  • 1 can of sardines in oil
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of tabasco or dry pepper dust
  • 1/2 a lemon juice
  • 1 chiseled shallot
  • 3 tablespoons of cream cheese (I will allow the light kind for once)
  • 1 big tablespoon of chiseled chives
  • Salt and black pepper

Crush all the ingredients together with a fork. Then place the mixture back in the can and serve with toasts. It only takes two minutes to prepare. It’s healthy. It’s delicious… Perfection!


Leçons de piano, foot, cours de dessin et de peinture, tennis ou poney-club… Toutes ces activités sont parfaites pour préparer nos enfants à la vie. Mais… et les cours de cuisine alors!?

Prendre le temps d’apprendre à nos gamins à cuisiner devrait être une priorité. C’est une opportunité incroyable de passer du temps avec eux et de former des habitudes durables qui contribueront grandement à leur santé et leur relation positive avec la nourriture.

C’est amusant, c’est facile… et pensez aux tonnes de légumes frais que vous pourrez acheter pour le prix d’un poney!


Voici une excellente petite recette pour commencer:


  • 1 boîte de sardines à l’huile
  • 1/2 cuillère à café de tabasco ou de piment d’Espelette 
  • Le jus d’un demi citron
  • 1 échalote ciselée
  • 3 cuillères à soupe de Saint Morret ou Kiri ou Carré Frais…
  • 1 bonne cuillère à soupe de ciboulette ciselée
  • Sel et poivre noir

Écrasez tous les ingrédients avec une fourchette et placez le mélange obtenu dans la boîte à sardine. Servez avec des toasts ou du pain grillé. Tout cela ne prend que 2 minutes et vous m’en direz des nouvelles!

Note: On pense toujours au mélange des goûts et des textures, mais rarement au clash des températures. Je vous conseille donc de servir ces rillettes de sardines glacées avec du pain grillé ou des toasts bien chauds :0)dfgs

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  1. I made this for dinner last night and served the dip warmed atop toast points with a nice cup of soup on the side and a glass of light Corsican red wine. What an absolutely delicious surprise (as I have NEVER eaten a sardine in my life) which I’m looking forward to trying again. I added a sprinkling of capers because I couldn’t resist the salty punch (my sardines were very mild and didn’t mind a bit of salt).
    Before making this spread I consulted this review of a variety of sardines (, because as I mentioned- I’ve never bought them before and there it appears to be a huge variety to choose from. This really helped me prepare for the tip to the grocery store.
    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful recipes and snapshots of France :)

    • I am so sorry for the late answer to your lovely comment! I am so glad you liked the rillettes. Sometimes the simplest things are the most enjoyable… ;)

  2. I love this, and especially how you’ve suggested it for preparing with kids. I think there are so many children now who don’t eat a wide variety of food – fish included – and this is such a good way to get them interested in food and new flavors!

    • It really is! Kids need to learn about food. It is even more important than exercise and yet people (and school programs) forget about it completely…

  3. Bonjour French Paradis! :-) Speakin’ of fish, je viens de rentrer d’Islande où je suis allée pour la 2e fois, dans les Westfjords cette fois-ci… THE best fish I’ve ever had in my life! :-) I’m missin’ Iceland and its yummy food… :-)
    – – –
    Amitiés toulousaines, bon week-end et bonne chance dans toutes tes activités… :-) Bon appétit & cheers! :-) Mélanie NB

    • Ah merci chère Mélanie! J’ai toujours rêvé de visiter l’Islande. On me dit qu’ils ont des langoustines qui font la taille des langoustes… ;)

  4. ciao! glad that you remembered this recipe…will try it tomorrow…i can taste it. just read an article about michelin-starred chef matthew tomkinson, who for the last year has followed a british doctor, michael mosley’s 5:2 diet. he raves about this ‘diet’ thought you might find the concept interesting.

    • Please do try it Katie. It is also very good health wise. It has more good fats and taste than tuna. Good alternative I think…

  5. Stephane! Another superb post with absolutely gorgeous photos. You make sardines look so incredibly fantastic. I am so happy you used them. My grandmother served them on special occasions, and I would greedily eat them all up while everyone else nibbled on celery. People just don’t realize what a delicious alternative they are to tuna fish. Maybe you’ll be bringing something back into popularity.

    BTW: glad to hear you’re walking 5K a day. Me too and then some. I am now getting interested in race walking. My next goal is a 10K. Keep up the good work! (And I know your B&B is going well, but I miss your posts.) :D

    • Thank you my darling Janet! I will start posting more often towards the end of the month ;) How is the business going??

      • Hello Stephane! Well, I can say that Boulder has been a really tough nut to crack. I have picked up a job doing consulting in Denver and a job teaching almost full time at a culinary school. That means money is coming I. Instead of racing out.

        • Oops, I hit send instead of editing properly. That’s my story right now.

          Glad to hear you are doing so well with you diet regimen. Keep up the good work!

          BTW: you salmon recipe is still waiting to be made here. My timing is way off. I am creating a calendar to make things, instead of just thinking, oh, I’ll make that today.

          • I need to update the salmon recipe. I think I said 3 days in the salt and sugar mix, but 48 hours are enough…

        • Good for you darling! You are a survivor. And that teaching job must be really interesting! Tell your students about My French Heaven. Maybe they’ll like it ;)

  6. It’s such a delicious treat to view each and every one of your posts Stephane – your photos are simply beautiful! It’s been a long, long time since I last had sardines… this recipe has inspired me though to try them again! Thank you. :)

  7. We cook with our kids all the time. And they help come up with ideas for dinner. Duck is usually first on the list but they have never asked us for chicken tenders or anything frozen. Well except jalepeno poppers to go with the Tuesday night pizza. :)

  8. Well, I am not big on sardines, but I do have friends who are – so I must make this to get their impressions of it. I am certain they will LOVE it! Thanks for sharing! I was wondering how you were doing, hadn’t seen any posts recently. :-)

  9. I make something very similar for my cancer nutrition workshops, and I’m glad to see such a simple and delicious idea more widely known through your magnificent blog. Sardine and Omega 3 fatty acids have never looked so glamourous!!

  10. Great idea. I read the title and wondered what the fat medium would be. Cream cheese! Okay, I’ll try it. I’m assuming that ciselé means “thinly sliced” or “finely chopped.” And, as always, lovely photos. Ken

  11. You can even make canned sardines look beautiful! This looks fun, and would be great as part of a lazy weekend lunch or picnic. Maybe I should use this recipe to give my husband cooking lessons ;-)

  12. Your photographs are always fabulous, but this time you’ve out done yourself. The image of the fresh sardines on top of the cans should be framed and hung on a wall.

  13. I agree whole heatedly. When teaching your kids/grand kids to cook and eat you teach them much more, like the fine art of conversation, wine appreciation, horticulture, biology, science…….I did my job well !! You follow my daughter’s food blog “sharing the we love”

  14. What a lovely post, Stéphane! I had basic cooking lessons in school, but I learned a lot by observing my mother in the kitchen (and helping out prepping vegetables, etc.). Children gain a lot by working in the kitchen – self-confidence, for one, respect for food also and a keen appreciation of what we eat. The sardine rillettes sound delicious.

    • I was thinking the same thing, only now I’m thinking the camera I want to buy would cost 6 ponies… Dear god I’m screwed!

  15. Can you explain what “chiseled” means with regard to the shallot and ciboulette? I can’t help but picture myself creating Michelangelo’s David out of a shallot ;)

    • Chiseled or chiselled is a direct translation of the French verb “ciseler” which means chopped really thin. Except that in French, the verb for “to chop” is “hacher” which is a very different thing. There is more cooking vocabulary in French so it’s sometimes difficult to translate everything perfectly. So, in French, “ciseler” means to chop but only using a knife. “Hacher” can be done with any tool…

  16. Good evening!!
    you should see my son cooking…(and you probably saw some picture already….)..he’s so funny! and we have a lot of fun indeed doing it TOGETHER! As a mother, I can only fully appreciate your idea my dear Stéphane…
    Interesting recipe, we should try it! :)

  17. You are right about the cooking lessons. It needs to be a priority. It surprises me that so few people cook. I grew up in Sweden and we had cooking lessons at school, so that everyone had basic skills.

  18. While still living at home my daughter only ever cooked cookies! After she moved into her first place she invited us for dinner! I thought we were going to be served box Macaroni and cheese. She ended up cooking a phenomenal meal! I asked her where she learned to cook? She said although she never cooked herself while living at home she was paying close attention to me when I cooked! It made me feel really good!

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