This is my attempt to deal with my post-holiday blues. As I mentioned in the May e-newsletter (you can subscribe to this over on the right), this time, last year, I was taking my dream holiday in Europe. One of the most memorable places I visited during that trip in terms of food would have to be Barcelona. To this day, I can still close my eyes and really smell and visualise the surroundings of the Boqueria Market.
I love the incredible colours, the abundance of jamon and fresh seafood and the spectacular display of fruits – whole, glacéd, squeezed or peeled and cut up.

Mercat de la Boqueria, Barcelona, fruit display - juices, cut, glaced

Mercat de la Boqueria - abundance of jamon

Apart from my daily dose of pan con tomate y jamon (a popular Catalonian dish of bread with tomato and served with Spanish ham), I also discovered razor clams which quickly became part of my European diet.
Razor clams have a long narrow shell and are much more meatier than your typical vongole, surf clam or pipi. Anything with a high food-reward:effort ratio is an instant favourite of mine.

Mercat de la Boqueria - razor clams

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to hunt for these Atlantic razor clams in Sydney so settled with Pacific razor clams which I found in the frozen section of a local fish market. Pacific razor clams are more oblong in shape.

Cooking with razor clams, clams, bell peppers, zucchini, fennel, choirzo, pearl couscous - winter soups and stews

This is an easy peasy recipe which can be cooked up within a short period of time. The hardest and most time consuming part would probably be the cleaning of the clams. Apart from that, all the vegetables just need to be chopped up into matchsticks.
One-pot wonders are the ultimate midweek dish because they’re also pretty much fail-proof.

Spanish Razor Clam & Chorizo Stew
Adapted from Epicurious
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
¾ cup dry white wine
1½ cups fish stock
½ kg Pacific razor clams, scrubbed
½ kg clams, scrubbed
1½ cups matchstick-size strips fennel (about 1 bulb)
1 cup matchstick-size strips red capsicum
1 cup matchstick-size strips zucchini
½ kg chorizo sausage, cut into cubes
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted, halved
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
¾ cup pearl couscous
Method
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes. Add tomatoes; sauté 4 minutes. Increase heat to high; add wine. Boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Add fish stock; simmer 3 minutes. Add clams; cover and cook 3 minutes.
Mix in fennel, bell pepper, and zucchini. Add sausage, and olives. Cover; bring to boil.
Reduce heat to medium; simmer until shellfish open, about 5 minutes (discard any that do not open). Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

You will find that the gorgeous clam flavours are accentuated with the addition of beautiful winter vegetables. The stew is rich and robust – a wonderful winter warmer!
You can omit the pearl couscous if you prefer to mop up the broth with some crusty bread. Or do both… Why not? :)

Spanish clams and chorizo sausage stew

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.
25 comments
JENIUS
JENIUS

Homemade Pizza Pockets (and other delicious comebacks) Once a month, some of my friends and I get together to expand our culinary skills. During these cooking challenges, we'd pick a theme and everybody would be required to cook up one dish that somehow relates to the theme....

Jen
Jen

I find it hard parting with soups and stews when it gets warm! Better take advantage of the current weather and cook up another batch!

Jen
Jen

I haven't had them cooked Asian-style yet... Can't wait to try!

Jen
Jen

Haha, I totally get that! It is the same reason I prefer lobster over crab!

Jen
Jen

Neither had I til last year! Looks like there's an abundance of them overseas though! Perhaps it's time for another holiday... hehe

Jen
Jen

Yea, how amazing is it! I wish Sydney had a market as good as the Boqueria!

Jen
Jen

I miss Spain too! :(

Kat & Kim
Kat & Kim

The razor clam stew looks divine !! But your pictures from the Boqueria; the sliced fruit, the juice - really make us miss Spain ......

Jen
Jen

I reckon they taste like normal clams but you just get more of it 'coz they're so much bigger!

Vivienne
Vivienne

I went to the Boqueria Market everyday when I was in Barcelona yrs ago and wish I could take it back to Sydney with me ;)

Ladybird
Ladybird

Wow I've never heard of razor clams before. Love your Barcelona pics :)

Will
Will

Razor clams is awesome for a non-hands-on seafood guy like myself, because with the same amount of "work" picking out the meat, it has so much more meat than other clams.

penny aka jeroxie
penny aka jeroxie

I've not seen razor clams in Melbourne! Miss it so much. Usually have it when I head back to Asia.

Phuoc'n Delicious
Phuoc'n Delicious

I've never had them before, what do they taste like? They look so intriguing

Jen
Jen

I didn't even know they existed til last year! I agree - best shellfish ever :)

Jen
Jen

I like your thinking ;)

Jen
Jen

Thanks, the flavour of the clams is divine in this!

Jen
Jen

Can't wait! :)

Phuoc'n Delicious
Phuoc'n Delicious

Indeed I am :) I'm lucky to escape this crappy weather. Keep an eye out for my American posts to come :)

Jen
Jen

Lucky you, aren't you flying out of Sydney tomorrow to the other side of the world? lol

Phuoc'n Delicious
Phuoc'n Delicious

That looks so comforting Jen, perfect for this crappy Sydney weather.

Zina @ tastedbytwo
Zina @ tastedbytwo

Oh my god, I didn't even know you could get razor clams in Sydney! They are my absolute favourite variety of shellfish.

mademoiselle délicieuse
mademoiselle délicieuse

I like the addition of the pearl couscous and they look really nice floating around in the stew too! But of course that's no barrier to having bread with this stew also =p