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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79 Comments Add yours

  1. Jem says:

    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🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      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. andmorefood says:

    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!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      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. nita says:

    FABULOUS photos!! And, yes, teaching our kids to cook is as equally important as the many other life skills!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Nita! Much appreciated😉

  4. That photo, with the white bird bottom right, is such a great composition! Wonderful post, as always.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Johnny! My goal is to take photos as nice as yours one day😉

  5. melanie says:

    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

    1. My French Heaven says:

      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…😉

  6. Such beautiful photos!! I love the narrative.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Why thank you so much! I am a fan of your blog, so this means a lot!

  7. 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.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Very interesting indeed! Thanks for the tip!! I need to get smarter with the whole diet thing!

  8. Farmgirl says:

    I could not agree more! What a fabulous looking recipe. I must try it!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      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…

  9. Janet Rörschåch says:

    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.)😀

    1. My French Heaven says:

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

      1. Janet Rörschåch says:

        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.

        1. Janet Rörschåch says:

          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.

          1. My French Heaven says:

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

        2. My French Heaven says:

          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😉

  10. 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.🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You know I hadn’t had canned sardines since I was a kid. How stupid of me. I had forgotten how delicious they are. So nutricious too! I also like them simply with butter on toast… Thanks fir the lovely commnt as usual!!!

      1. janina says:

        I always keep some canned sardines in my pantry. I have now bookmarked this delicious recipe, for my new diet. Eh bien! Merci! Pix good as usual….🙂

        1. My French Heaven says:

          That’s great Janina. People always cook with enchovies, tuna etc… Poor sardines need some good PR!🙂

          1. janina says:

            I agree with you about the PR….maybe you should become their spokesman!😀

          2. My French Heaven says:


  11. 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. 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      These sound like amazing kids. Great job mom and dad!!

      1. We’re so lucky with our kids. I bought some duck and my 9 yr old son is so excited!

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I saw your duck on instagram. Gorgeous! Your kids would like it here. Duck is all we eat🙂

          1. We introduced it to them in Paris. And they can’t get enough of it! Chicken tenders isn’t on their list. Thank goodness.

  12. cathynd95 says:

    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. 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m doing fine. Just been super busy with the B&B. The season is almost over though and I’m looking forward to posting more often😉

      1. cathynd95 says:

        Glad your b&b is doing well!

  13. Lignum Draco says:

    I like these simple recipes.

  14. 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!!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are so kind Kellie! The work you do is amazing. You make such a difference through those workshops!!!

  15. Jody and Ken says:

    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

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Yes Ken, finely chopped🙂

  16. saucygander says:

    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😉

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh thank you for your kind comment! You go girl! Teach that husband of yours how it’s done!😉

  17. Iain says:

    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.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Lain! That picture is my new Iphone screen saver actually😉

  18. ohlidia says:

    I often cook and bake with my girls. It’s my way of ensuring that my Italian food heritage continues with them!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Heritage is the right word! I have some Italian recipes from my Italian Grand mother that I love!😉

  19. ladyredspecs says:

    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”

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I know!!! You did indeed do a fine job!😉

  20. Louise says:

    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.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Great comment darling Louise! Yes, do try the sardine rillettes. You won’t be disappointed (if you like sardines that is…)😉🙂

      1. Louise says:

        You are right, Stéphane… I like sardines (and lobster too). And what kind of camera would cost a herd of ponies? Are you striving for that famous Leica blue?

        1. My French Heaven says:

          My dream camera is a Canon 5D III. So if a pony costs about 500€ around here, it’s worth about 6 ponies🙂🙂

          1. Louise says:

            But then again, if you were writing a book, it could be written off, non? I wish I had a magic wand…

          2. My French Heaven says:

            The book would have to sell first before I can write anything off😦

  21. dearferrero says:

    For the price of a pony😄 .. I have to remember that one! It’s a terrific excuse to buy anything at all, really.

    Looks delicious, by the way!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      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!

  22. Lynn says:

    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😉

    1. My French Heaven says:

      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…

  23. juliabarrett says:

    Would be delicious with grilled bread!

  24. 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!🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Yes you should darling😉

  25. Only you could make sardines appetizing to me, Stephane🙂 Congrats on losing 10 pounds!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Tamara! Yes, I believe sardines are not everyone’s thing🙂

  26. sanjapanja says:

    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.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      We did too! That’s where I learned how to make my famous chocolate charlotte🙂😉

  27. Jennifer says:

    What an absolutely fabulous idea! I’m going to do this very recipe this weekend with my kids. I love it🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Please let me know how you like it Jennifer!!!😉

  28. 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!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You should be proud! Besides the great DNA, good food is probably why your grand kids are so good looking😉🙂

  29. Sofia says:

    Bonjour! J’ai fait du leçons de piano quand je etais petite, et maintenant je fait piano et la cuisine aussi! I hope the kids enjoyed it!

    1. My French Heaven says:


  30. I think my husband would like this. 🙂 Is the diet still going well?


    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’ve lost 10 pounds and managed to keep them off. I need to refocus and push myself more to loose another 35lbs…

      1. Great start! Losing and not regaining is the most important. Are you exercising? That’s my former personal trainer side asking. 🙂 Exercise makes a big (no pun intended) difference, in more than just losing weight.

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I walk a 5K every day. Doctor’s orders after my heart surgery🙂

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