“I love clams. For something so small, they deliver tonnes of flavour punch and are so easy to cook. In Italy they’re a bit purist about clams, mostly using them in fish stews and in pasta, but in Spain and Portugal they happily mix them with ham and pork – the little clam more than stands up for itself in the battle of big flavours. In the Madrid Mercado, I met Omaira, a chef who runs the café at the heart of this vibrant market. Omaira cooks some very traditional recipes at this little bar, things I had never seen or heard about before now, but when we talked about cooking clams, she suggested using sobrasada. It’s a raw, cured sausage from the Balearic Islands made with ground pork, paprika and other spices. It has a wonderful smokiness to it but once again the fresh clams from the stall next to the café more than held their own.” Ainsley Harriott, Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 thin slices ibérico ham, finely chopped
- 6 sage leaves
- 5 cm piece sobrasada or fresh chorizo, skin removed and cut into thin slices
- 2 tsp plain flour
- 100 ml dry fino sherry
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 kg fresh clams, de-gorged
- chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes or until soft but not coloured. Add the ham and sage and stir for another 10 seconds or so, then add the sobrasada and stir for another minute. Sprinkle the flour over the top and stir to combine, then add the sherry and whisk until you have achieved a smooth sauce. Season to taste.
Add the clams, shake the pan to combine well, then cover and cook for 2-3 minutes or just until all of the clams have opened – discard any that do not. Divide among small shallow serving bowls, scatter with parsley and drizzle with a little extra oil.
Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food starts Thursday 6 August 2015 at 8.30pm on SBS and finishes 1 October 2015. Visit the Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food program page to catch-up on episodes online, scroll through recipes and read our interview with Ainsley.