Clams are my new jam. Not even new, I have always loved them, but I have embraced cooking them even more recently and relished the speed with which I can make a full flavoured lunch or supper at home.
Clams are easy, quick, inexpensive and very nutritious
Clams are easy to source and inexpensive. They are a complete protein and are low in fat. Clams are high in vitamins and minerals (particularly iron and vitamin B12). You can cook a clam dish in 10 minutes, and they are receptive of all flavours. I love to make curry clams too, bathing them in a golden yellow turmeric and coconut broth with lots of garlic, galangal, a pinch of chilli and lemongrass. (I should share that recipe soon!).
Clams as a winter dish
Here, I gave them a November treatment. The chorizo and paprika like a firework spark, the cider a little round sweetness, supported by some fresh grated tomato and some halved cherry tomatoes. Garlic, always garlic, and because it is cold outside (and boy is it), a generous cats lick of cream. The cream is optional, I just fancied it.
With regard to chorizo, try and source a soft cooking one, but if you can’t, a drier chorizo sausage will do. With the clams, give them a rinse and then check that they are all closed, or are willing to close when you tap them. If they won’t close, they are dead and not for eating, just throw them out.
This recipe will be enough for a generous starter or light supper for two. Or maybe you just want one big portion for yourself? I did! You can use mussels if you prefer.
- 400g fresh clams, rinsed with any that won't close on tapping discarded
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 100g chorizo, cut into small dice
- 1 large tomato (grated so you have a puree) & a 10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 200 ml dry (hard) cider
- 1 heaped tsp sweet smoked paprika (I used Spanish)
- a handful of cavolo nero, the leaf torn from the tough stems (or kale)
- 50ml single (heavy) cream (optional)
- extra virgin olive oil