SPANISH STYLE STEAMED CLAMS
Clams are really delicious and, once you know what you're doing, pretty easy to clean and prepare.
I had a dish like this at a place called B&G Oysters in Boston a long time ago and I really wanted to try to replecate it at home. I've been making this for so long, I can't quite remember what was in that original dish. I guess that means that this version is pretty good.
This clam dish is prepared all in one pot, with a few simple ingredients that you can find at your local supermarket.
I like to use small clams, sometimes called "pasta" clams but more commonly called "littlenecks." When you bring them home from the store, place them in a dish and cover with a damp towel. Place in the fridge until you're ready to clean them.
To clean the clams, rinse them under cool water and scrub them with a clean sponge or brush. Once scrubbed, place them in a bowl or dish and cover with room temperature water. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp of cornmeal, stir gently and leave to soak for 20 minutes. Lift the clams out of the bowl and place them in a colander, making sure to leave excess cornmeal and sand at the bottom of the bowl. If any clams are open, give them a little squeeze - they should close themselves up. If they don't close up, discard them. Rinse the clams again under cool water. Now you're ready to cook.
Note that clams are naturally salty and so there is no added salt in this recipe.
2 lbs of fresh clams - cleaned and scrubbed
1 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 small onion - minced
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 yukon gold potato, washed with peel on - chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tbsp parsley stems - chopped'
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 tsp red chilli flakes
1 chorizo sausage - cut into rounds (optional)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1.5 glasses dry white wine or 1 bottle of your favourite beer (if you don't want the alcohol, you can use chicken stock)
1. in a large pot with a tight fitting lid, heat butter or oil over medium heat. add onion, garlic and chilli flakes and sautee until onion is translucent.
If using chorizo, add it now, sautéeing until sausage is cooked.
2. add beer or wine and bring to a boil. when the liquid is boiling , add chopped potato. reduce heat slightly and cook until potato is slightly tender but not quite cooked. add smoked paprika, black pepper and parsley stems.
3. gently add clams into the liquid. cover the pot and let the clams steam until they open - 4-5 minutes.
4. when clams are open, remove from heat and add parsley leaves.
5. DISCARD any clams that don't open
Serve these clams right out of the pot with some bread and lemon wedges. Don't forget to drink the broth - it's the best part.