Learn how to make this Spanish winter dish. White Beans with Clams.
Today I want to share with you one of my favourite Spanish gastronomy dishes. With two main ingredients, Clams and White Beans, this Seafood Stew of Asturian origin is one of the most representative dishes of this beautiful coastal region of the north of Spain.
Potages and Soups are full of tradition, and almost all the recipes that we know today, have been passed down from generation to generation thanks to our grandmother's recipes.
Legumes, mainly chickpeas, lentils, beans and peas have been part of man's diet since the beginning of time, mostly due to their high protein content. These legume seeds are considered as an alternative protein source for meat or supplementary to the proteins provided by cereals. In fact, already in the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church recommended its consumption in the period of Lent.
The most common way to find these legumes on the market is dry or canned in a glass jar ready to eat. In the dry version, previous rehydration or soaking is necessary before cooking them.
History says that the consumption of beans dates back to the 16th century in Asturias when it is known with certainty that they were planted in those lands and consumed. The variety used to make Asturian bean stew is called "La Granja" since its smoothness and buttery texture makes it perfect for this stew.
On the other hand, I have chosen those beautiful clams, which are in their best moment and size at this time of the year. This tasty bivalve is handcrafted on the Galician coasts by shellfish farmers, then they go through a debugging process before being put up for sale.
White Beans with Clams. "Habas con Almejas".
For the Beans stew.
- White beans 500 g
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Leek
- 4 cloves of Garlic
- 1 Onion
- 1 Bay leave
- 4 Saffron filaments
- Water or fumet 3 l approx.
For the clams.
- Clams 700 g
- 4 cloves of Garlic
- Olive oil
- White wine 125 ml
- Soak the white beans 12 hours approx (depending on the size of the beans), before cooking. Do the same with the clams to eliminate any rest of sand.
- Wash, peel and chop the vegetables and place them in a pot.
- Drain the beans and place them into a pot, to cover all the ingredients with fumet or cold water, two-finger over the beans.
- Add the saffron and the bay leave.
- Put on high heat until it boils, add cold water to stop the first boil. It helps to preserve the beans whole.
- Skim the foam. And let it cook over low heat for about three hours or when the beans are soft.
- When the beans are cooked, remove the onion, carrots, onion and garlic and mash together with a few beans, to put the mix back in the stew and get the correct thickened.
Now its time to cook the clams.
- Cover the base of a pan with olive oil. Put it over medium heat, and add the chopped garlic.
- When it browns, add the clams and mix them with the garlic.
- Pour the withe wine to the pan and cover it with a lid, steam the clams and cook them.
- When the clams start to open, take the lid out, and leave the alcohol finish to evaporate.
- Add the chopped parsley and put the content of the pan into the pot with the beans.
- Boil for a minute all together and It will be ready to be served.
This recipe can be served as a starter, main course or little "Tapa" dish.
Have a tasty day!