SAF­FRON CLAMS

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - RACHEL’S KITCHEN -

This dish takes its in­spi­ra­tion from Spain, where it can be found on tapas menus all over the south­ern coast.

The clams are cooked with the lid on so that they steam in the pan, re­leas­ing gor­geous juices that then mix with the other in­gre­di­ents to cre­ate a won­der­ful sauce for which the best ac­com­pa­ni­ment is crusty bread.

Serves 4-6 as tapas, or 2 as a main course.

You will need:

1kg (2lb 3oz) fresh clams 3 ta­ble­spoons olive oil 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped 1 gar­lic clove, peeled and finely chopped Pinch of saf­fron threads

¼ tea­spoon smoked pa­prika 50ml (2fl oz) dry sherry, such as fino 1 ta­ble­spoon tomato paste 2 ta­ble­spoons pars­ley, roughly chopped Crusty white bread, to serve First check that all the clams are closed, dis­card­ing any that stay open when tapped on a hard sur­face. To clean the clams, place them in a bowl or sink of cold wa­ter and let them soak for 30 min­utes; this should help get rid of any sand. Drain the clams and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a wide saucepan over a medium heat, then add the finely chopped onion and saute for about five min­utes or un­til soft and golden. Add the finely chopped gar­lic, the saf­fron threads, the smoked pa­prika, the dry sherry, the tomato paste, the chopped pars­ley, and the drained clams. Cover with a lid and cook for 3-4 min­utes or un­til all the clams have com­pletely opened. Dis­card any that have not.

Tip into serv­ing bowls and serve im­me­di­ately, mop­ping up the juices with chunks of crusty white bread.

The quan­ti­ties in this recipe can be halved or mul­ti­plied, de­pend­ing on how many you're feed­ing.

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