One, I used the wrong bread. I used, I think, an Italian bread with sesame seeds on top.
It had a hard crust and a dense center so it was overpowering.
Two, I tried making it five different ways.
1. Sardines, melted Brie, thin sliced cucumber
2. Sardines, melted Smoked Gouda, thin sliced cucumber
3. Sardines, melted Brie
4. Sardines, melted Smoked Gouda
and based on ED's recommendation, and why the **** not?
5. Sardines, peanut butter, thin sliced cucumber
The the texture with the cucumber was totally ruled the show. I couldn't taste anything but cucumber, and the slices were very small and thin.
Without the cucumber; I didn't really taste the brie, but the Smoked Gouda flavor did come through, and though mild, the nutter flavor did pretty good with the fish. However, the heavy bread still stole the show (in a bad way). I think a much lighter, more delicate bread would allow you to taste everything, maybe even the brie.
The peanut butter was too overwhelming. That's purely subjective, as I'm not big on putting peanut butter on anything but jelly.
Note: I wasn't using the greatest ingredients, I was using canned sardines (in water). They were pretty mild. I like cooking fresh sardines, so that might be an idea, but maybe too much work for a sandwich.
I think, though, this might be more of a recipe for hors d'oeuvres than sandwiches.
1. Smoosh up the sardines with some butter, finely snipped garlic chives, finely diced red onion. Spread on dark rye bread, top with few slices of gherkin.
2. Smooshed as above, but add some tomato salsa (spicy as you like), top with some watercress (or similar), on sourdough.
3. Pita bread wraps. Spread one side of pita with mayo, whole sardines on top, finely sliced red onion, sliced hardboiled eggs, loads of black pepper, finely sliced iceburg lettuce, drizzle of sour cream. Wrap it up. Messy but yum.
Could do them as pita pockets.
4. Spread white bread with cream cheese, pepper it, add some dice some roasted red bell peppers, add diced pickled halapenos (as many or as few as you like), some tiny quarted and peeled thin slices of lemon. Whole sardines.
Hope this helps :)
Or, as DC Sunshine suggests, mash the sardines with other ingredients, as when making tuna salad.
I like to add finely chopped red onion, pepper, a very small amount of Dijon, and mayo as the basic mix. Then ring the changes; perhaps some chopped gerkins, a skoosh of Parmesan, etc.
Instead of going for a sandwich as such with Italian bread, try slicing it on the bias, toasting, and using the sardine mix to make a crostini (which just sounds better than open-faced sandwich ). Top with a slice of tomato and/or olives, raw onion, whatever trips your trigger.
Canned sardines in water are, IMO, the next best thing to tasteless. Next time try them packed in oil, it makes a big difference. I also think if I was going to melt cheese on them I'd go with something a bit more assertive than brie; perhaps a taleggio or some such.