Is it possible to have too much food? Spain is the first country where I actually did not want to eat anymore. Every night we spent eating amazing beef, octopus, artichoke, paella, fideua, and sausage dishes. But here is the catch: where Americans have the appetizer, main entree, and dessert for a “complete” meal, the Spanish offer double and for a very affordable price. Two full-sized main entrees, dessert, bread and alioli, bottle of water and wine, and shot of locally made liquor for 15 euros.
That’s about 17 dollars. Incredible – I thought Chinese people knew how to eat, the Spanish can take the title. But really, no more food please.
After a week of eating these dinners, the words sheepishly escaped me: ” do you…want to share a dish instead?” We both agreed it would be a good idea until the menu came and well, we were on vacation and there was yet another octopus dish on the menu…
Fast forward to returning back home and while the scale continues to betray my eyes, I found myself wanting to prolong my experience in Spain as long as I could. I’ve gone through the trials and tribulation of making authentic alioli, and am still working on perfecting fideua and pulpos and patatas bravas. I was elated when I came across a simple looking dish that combined clams, cod, and peas. Taste buds rejoice!
This is easily one of my favorite easy dinner dishes to make — whether it’s for a dinner party or where I come armed with fresh bread and hoard the entire pot for myself.
- 100 ml olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp plain flour
- 50ml white wine
- 200ml fish or clam stock (fresh or from a stock cube)
- small bunch of fresh leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 100g frozen peas, defrosted
- 1 kg cod fillet, cut into 4 portions
- 12 smaller sized clams like littleneck, manila, etc..
- sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
Put the olive oil and garlic in a large frying pan and place over a medium heat (you want to start frying from cold so that the oil becomes infused with the garlic aroma). When the garlic starts to turn golden, add the flour and toast it for a minute or so before adding the white wine, stirring all the time. Add the fish stock, little by little, stirring constantly so you get a smooth sauce.
Add the chopped parsley and peas and bring to the boil. Season the cod fillets and then place in the pan, skin-side down, and reduce the heat to low. Add in the clams and gently push them down in the broth.
Cook the fillets and clams for 3 minutes, shaking the pan gently to release the juices from the fish – this will make the sauce even more delicate and flavoursome. Turn the fillets over and cook for a further 4 minutes. The clams should open within the 7 minutes, depending on the size of your clams. Note: Adjust cooking time if the majority of clams do not open – I removed the fish from the broth to prevent overcooking and waited for the clams to open. Discard any unopened clams prior to serving.
Adapted slightly from thehappyfoodie.co.uk