Spanish Style Clams Recipe Inspired By Rick Stein
These Spanish style clams are a mash up of something I saw Rick Stein do once on his tour of Spain and what was looking well at the fishmonger that day.
In France, in summer, we love nothing more than a huge platter of seafood, covered in oysters, clams, mussels, sea urchin and sorts of sea goodies. But unfortunately, this summer trend is seriously lagging behind in Ireland. We have some of the greatest seafood in the world but most of it gets exported. I had a conversation with Vanessa Murphy from Las Tapas De Lola recently where she explained that most Irish razor clams end up in Spain. This is frankly preposterous, as much like these Spanish style clams, most of the glorious Irish seafood should end up in our plates. We deserve to know and eat our food.
In his programme, Rick Stein cooked this dish with chunks of monk fish, potatoes, padron peppers and white wine. Or so I remember. A quick look on the internet makes me think I might have dreamed it or made it up. I can’t seem to find that recipe anymore so if you have seen it and know what I’m talking about please hook me up!
Anyway, these spanish style clams would work well if you want to use mussels, gambas, or a firm fish like monk or even maybe a good piece of hake. This will feed up to 4 hungry adults.
Because selfish can make you really sick, please ensure that you only buy them from a trusted fish monger, store them appropriately (ask the fishmonger to advise you) and cook them within the recommended time. I would suggest that the quicker you cook them after purchasing them, the better as they will be much more delicious at that stage.
If like me, you have made too much of this dish, and you have some left overs, you can freeze it (including the clams) but the shellfish may be a bit tough once thawed and reheated.
Finally, if after cooking a clam remains shut, PLEASE DO NOT EAT IT.
- One large spanish onion, sliced thinly
- 6 medium sized waxy spuds (the spuds must be waxy or they will fall apart), cleaned and cubed
- 2 green peppers (if you have padron peppers I would have about 5 per person in the pot)
- One bag of clams (or whatever ye’re having)
- 5 cloves of good garlic
- Half a bottle of cheap white wine (the other half will be chilled and for the cook, naturally
- Half a spicy chorizo ring
- 1 tablespoon of hot paprika
- Fresh flat parsley
- One very generous pinch of saffron
- 25 g of butter
- One cube of stock
- Finishing salt to taste
- I use a crock pot for this as the lid is so heavy that the steam doesn’t escape and it seems to cook the spuds quicker. But any large pot with a lid will do.
- Put a good dollop of olive oil, add your sliced onion and let them cook until they are soft and translucid. You can then add cubed spuds, your peppers (whole if you’re using padrons and sliced if you’re using the big ones), the sliced chorizo and pour the stock over until the spuds are covered. Then add the wine and finally add the saffron and paprika to the liquid. Cover and let it cook on low to medium heat, until the spuds are done this took about 30 min for me). You do need to keep checking to see whether it needs a bit more liquid. Add a bit of water if require and if the liquid is not reducing do let it cook on medium heat without the lid.
- While this is going on, give your clams a good cold bath and rinse the water once or twice. When you’re happy that no sand is pooling at the bottom of the bowl, you can get ready to cook them. You will also be grating your garlic at this stage.
- The last bit happens quickly so you need to be ready. When your spuds are cooked, add the butter and garlic and mix it in the sauce until it’s all melted. Taste and season.
- At this stage you are ready to add your clams. Drop them in gently and toss them in with the rest. Replace the lid on top and cook on high heat for no more than 5 minutes.
- Once it’s all done, pour the clams and veggies on a plater and drizzle the sauce on top. Garnish with the flat parsley.