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Posts Tagged ‘Cockles’

Cockles with Tomato, Pastis & Parsley

A Gill Meller recipe for clams or he also suggests mussels. It was cockles on Friday in our local fish shop and they work just as well too. These are boozy and they taste strongly of pastis which we enjoyed immensely and gave the whole dish a real clarity of flavour.

Wine Suggestion: Quite often we’d suggest white wine with seafood, and you’d be right here too. However, this doesn’t mean red can’t work just as well, you need to make sure it isn’t too heavy and has a natural freshness of acidity … like from a cooler vineyard region. Tonight we opened the Dezat Sancerre Rouge which is made from Pinot Noir and is joyful and deliciously ripe while remaining pure and fresh. A good complement to the tomatoes and sea flavours and a match to the anise of the pastis.

Cockles with tomato, pastis & parsley – serves 2

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • finely grated zest of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 100ml pastis or Pernod
  • 1kg cockles (or clams or mussels), washed and throw away any with broken or open shells
  • 2 to 3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat a large, heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat. Heat the olive oil, then add the onion and garlic. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 6-8 minutes or until soft but not coloured.

Add the lemon zest, fennel seeds, bay leaves and rosemary and cook for another few minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, then half fill the empty tin with water and pour this in too. Add the sugar, season again, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring, often, until rich and thick.

Add the pastis and turn the heat up. When the liquid is boiling, add the cockles, stir once, give the pan a good shake, then cover with a tight lid.

Cook for 3-4 minutes (shaking occasionally), or until all the shells have opened. Throw away any that remain closed. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the chopped parsley.

(Original recipe from Time by Gill Meller, Quadrille, 2018.)

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Cockle & Chorizo Risotto

We couldn’t find clams in Dublin the day we cooked this and had to substitute cockles. Still very delicious, but make sure you wash them thoroughly in cold running water to get rid of any sand.

Wine Suggestion: The zing of a good Picpoul de Pinet was our choice and it was a very good match indeed; clean, fresh and appley. Picpoul is often drunk with lighter dishes as it’s such an easy drinking wine, but this is a shame as Picpoul comes into it’s own with a richer dish like this.

Clam & Chorizo Risotto – serves 4

  • 1kg fresh clams, rinsed well in running water for a few minutes to remove any sand (or you can use cockles)
  • 200ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 spicy cooking chorizos, finely diced (we used one big one)
  • a bay leaf
  • 300g carnaroli rice
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat a large casserole dish on a high heat and add the clams. Throw in half the wine, cover with a lid, and cook for 2 minutes or until the clams open. Drain and set aside, reserving the liquor. Remove the clams from their shells when cool enough to handle.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, add the onion and garlic and sweat for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the chorizo and bay leaf and cook for a few minutes. Add the rice and toast for a couple of minutes, then add the rest of the wine and turn up the heat to evaporate.

Add the reserved cooking liquor, then start adding the chicken stock a ladle at a time, stirring. Add another ladle only when the previous ladle of stock has been absorbed. Continue until the rice is almost cooked, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the Parmesan, butter and herbs. Add the clams and stir to heat through. Taste and season with salt if needed, then serve.

(Original recipe from The Skills by Monica Galetti, Quadrille, 2016.)

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