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

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
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

  • What an interesting dish! Looks wonderful though 🙂

  • 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

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

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

  • Jen

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

  • Indeed I am 🙂 I’m lucky to escape this crappy weather. Keep an eye out for my American posts to come 🙂

  • Jen

    Can’t wait! 🙂

  • Jen

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

  • Jen

    I like your thinking 😉

  • Jen

    I didn’t even know they existed til last year! I agree – best shellfish ever 🙂

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

  • Great stew for current weather! I so need a bowl right now!

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

  • 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.

  • Wow I’ve never heard of razor clams before. Love your Barcelona pics 🙂

  • 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 😉

  • Jen

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

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

  • Jen

    I miss Spain too! 🙁

  • Jen

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

  • 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

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

  • Jen

    I haven’t had them cooked Asian-style yet… Can’t wait to try!

  • 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!

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