Clams! Again! But Spanish this time.

About two years ago, I wrote up my favorite recipe for clams. And it is still my favorite recipe.  But last Christmas Day, after my drunken Abandoned Americans in Sevilla party, I got adopted by a family that served me an equally wonderful set of clams.  And I’d like to share the idea.

For the last two years, I taught private English classes to my coworker Orlando’s daughters.  Over time, they became my adoptive family in Spain.  We ditched classes from time to time to swim in the pool to relieve me from my AC-free roasting, they listened to my frustrations, they found me an immigration lawyer who advised me for free, and last year, they brought me into their family for Christmas.  Grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, it was a big shindig.  And they lent me a sweater so I could go skype with my family outside, away from the clamor – though all the kids followed me to gawp at the English speaking and crazy magic of an American family on a phone.

It was a really warm and loving moment in a very difficult time of my life, and I’m thankful for them.  I’m even more thankful that Orlando’s dad was an absolutely wonderful cook.  He only gave me the ingredients, so you will need to play with the spices like I did to tailor it to your liking, but I did my best.  And do it soon, before clam season is up on this side of the world!

Orlando’s Dad’s Clams

1 lb of clams

1 Tbsp pimentón (sub in smoked paprika if you can’t find it)

1/8 c fresh parsley

3 cloves of garlic

2 tsp cumin

Hearty pinch of salt

Finely chop the parsley and the garlic.

Pile all of the spices and herbs into a pot and pour the clams on top.

Not like this.  You want it to turn into a broth, and since the only liquid comes from the clams themselves, the spices just stick to the shells of the clams and are useless… Just put it all on the bottom of the pot.  Then the nectar will drip down and stew all together and become delicious.

Turn the stove onto medium-high heat and put a lid on it. After five minutes, check to see if they’ve popped.

If they haven’t entirely popped, give it another minute or two, then discard whatever clam has not opened.  And eat!

Oh, and we made the Pacific Northwest version linked at the beginning, as well.

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3 Responses to “Clams! Again! But Spanish this time.”


  1. 1 frugalfeeding September 14, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Looks delicious! I would have thought smoked paprika would have been the harder to find. My blog has been on a Spanish kick lately – I’ve just been to a Spanish wedding in Navalmoral de la sierra! It was amazing, we go there and Madrid every year.

    • 2 desasdishes September 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      I’ve only ever seen pimentón in specialty stores. For example, in Seattle, I saw it in Pike Place in DeLaurenti’s Deli, which has been building out its Spanish import section.
      You could definitely use regular paprika. It’s just that the flavor (as you probably know since you are a regular visitor to Spain!) is not quite right.

      • 3 frugalfeeding September 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm

        To be fair I just tend to use smoked paprika as well 😀 – in many ways I prefer the flavour!


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Hey, I'm Desa. I've been bouncing between the Pacific Northwest and Sevilla, Spain in the last few years and from tiny apartment to tiny apartment. I cook mainly for one, which means some potentially boring meals, but here I'll be sharing the food that excites me. Feel free to offer suggestions, commiseration, or desires. And thanks for coming by!

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