One fish, two fish, seven fish...

Updated 1:18 PM ET, Thu December 5, 2013
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This Christmas Eve, chef Alex Guarnaschelli is rooting for you to choose the little guys -- sardines, that is. The fresh variety are delicious, inexpensive and sustainable. Here, she pairs grilled sardines with cauliflower fritters and a lemon-jalapeno dressing. Sarah LeTrent/CNN
Batter up! Dip the cauliflower florets in a mixture of flour, canola oil, salt, red pepper flakes, coriander and beer. Sarah LeTrent/CNN
Fry the cauliflower in small batches and drain on paper towels. Sarah LeTrent/CNN
Place the sardines on a medium-hot grill until they are lightly charred on both sides. If you don't have a grill, you can easily roast them in the oven. Sarah LeTrent/CNN
To serve, create a family style platter with the cauliflower florets on the bottom and the sardines on top. Whisk the juice from a lemon with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 15-20 jalapeno slices. Drizzle over everything and top with basil leaves. Sarah LeTrent/CNN
Alex Guarnaschelli is an Iron Chef, Food Network star and executive chef at Butter in New York City. Sarah LeTrent/CNN