Almejas (clams) a la Marinera
There are many variations on this recipe, depending where you have it. Sometimes it has a light green sauce if it is made with parsley, or red if you use paprika, in which case it can be either spicy if you use hot paprika, or mild if you use sweet paprika. Any of these combinations is delicious but I have a particular preference for the mild red one, which is the one described below.
Preparation time: 25 mins
1/2 Kg (1 pound) clams
2 garlic cloves
2 sticks of fresh parsley chopped up in very small pieces
1 tablespoon of flour
1 glass of white wine
3 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
Firstly wash the clams by placing them to soak in cold water with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes, so that they release any remaining sand. Meanwhile, chop up the onion into 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) squares, peel and crush the garlic cloves, and wash and finely chop the parsley. At this point put the clams in a sieve so you have them ready when you need them.
Select a medium-sized saucepan and pour in 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or until the bottom is completely covered). When the oil starts to smoke add the onion bits and cook for about 5 minutes at medium heat, or until the onion is soft. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute, add a tablespoon of flour and a teaspoon of paprika, and stir it with a wooden spoon so they get coated with the oil and don’t burn. After 30 seconds add a glass of white wine and a pinch of salt, and drop the clams into the mixture and stir them while they open. As soon as they open they are done, but as some take longer than others to open you can take them out and place them on a serving dish as they do so. When all of them are open (remove and discard those that don’t open), pour the sauce over the clams and sprinkle a bit of parsley over the top.
Tip 1 – When you finish eating the clams, soak a bit of bread in the sauce, it’s delicious!
Pimientos del padron
These small green peppers come from Galicia but can be found in markets all around Spain and are delicious to have as a tapa.
There is a Spanish saying which goes "Pimientos del padrón some are hot and some are notâ€ – usually they are not spicy, but every now and again you find a real scorcher that can bring tears to your eyes (or in Marina’s case cause hiccups)!
Preparation time: 6 minutes
1/2 Kg (1 pound) Pimientos del Padrón
2 teaspoons of rock salt
3 tablespoons of olive oil
For this recipe you need to use a big frying pan or divide the peppers in to two lots and cook them separately. Cover the bottom of the frying pan with olive oil, and when it starts to smoke add the peppers. Sprinkle the salt on top and swirl the frying pan as if it was a wok, so the peppers fry evenly all over. Let them cook for about 5 minutes or until they start to wrinkle. Place them onto a serving plate and eat while they are still hot.
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