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Spanish Clams in Sherry Sauce Recipe - Almejas Al Jerez

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Clams in Sherry Sauce - Almejas al Jerez

Clams in Sherry Sauce - Almejas al Jerez

(c) Lisa Sierra 2012 Licensed to About.com Inc.
Spaniards love seafood and they eat a lot of it. It's not really surprising when you realize that Spain enjoys hundreds of miles of coastline. Small clams are very popular - either to eat by themselves, or mixed in with rice, pasta, soups or stews. Very often the first course of a midday meal is a light noodle or rice soup sprinkled with small clams. Usually, these clam dishes are simple, and allow the rich flavor of the fresh clams to shine.

This clam recipe can be served as either first course, or as a tapa. It is quick and easy to prepare. First, sauté the chopped onion and garlic. Add sherry, clams and parsley, and briefly simmer until cooked. Serve with rustic bread.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2.2 lbs (1 kg) small clams, such as Venus or Littleneck*
  • 1/2 medium yellow or white onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4-6 oz (118-175 ml) dry sherry
  • 4-6 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 medium lemon (optional)

Preparation:

* In Spain, you may see varieties of small clams called almejas finas or chirlas in the supermarkets or seafood markets. Anny variety of small clam can be used to prepare this dish.

Be sure that the clams are cleaned or purged of sand and impurities. Most producers do this by holding them in salt water before sending them to market. If purging is needed, place clams in salted water for 30 minutes, then rinse and drain completely.

Peel and chop the onion and finely chop the parsley. Peel and slice the garlic. Pour olive oil into a large (10-12 inch) frying pan and heat on medium. When oil is hot, sauté the onion and garlic until it just turns brown. Add the sherry and half of the chopped parsley, cooking for 2-3 minutes.

Add the clams to the frying pan, and stir. Cover and simmer on low for about 4 minutes. Clams should open as cooking. Discard any clams that do not open.

Divide the clams and sauce between four plates. Sprinkle with remaining chopped parsley. Squeeze lemon juice over top of each plate (optional). Serve hot with warm crusty bread to soak up the sherry sauce and chopped onions.

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