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Clams with white rioja & serrano ham

MasterChef 2021 quarter finalist Michele Rodriquez-Wise cooks up a tasty tapas dish…

Clams with white rioja & serrano ham

Ingredients: Serves 2 as a starter 
or 4 as a tapas dish
• 1 kg of clams (preferably fresh) if not frozen (thaw before cooking)
• 100ml of olive oil
• Small white Spanish onion or shallot finely chopped
• 4 large garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
• 150ml of white rioja wine (or dry white wine)
• 6 slices of serrano ham (one small packet)
• 1/2 tsp of hot pimenton (Spanish spice normally in small tin) or paprika
• 1/2 tsp of sweet pimenton
• 1 tsp of plain flour
• Garnish with small handful of chopped flat leaf parsley

Soak fresh clams in a large bowl for approximately 20 minutes in cold water so that all the grit can be released. Rinse thoroughly in cold water. Please discard any that don’t close after tapping firmly with a metal spoon as well as any that are broken. Heat the oil in a large deep-frying pan with a lid on a medium heat and fry the finely chopped onion and garlic for approx 5 minutes. Do not over cook or brown; the onions should be transparent. When cooked add the chopped ham and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Keeping it at a medium heat add your pimenton spices and the flour and stir constantly for approximately 30 seconds. Now add your white wine ensuring you are stirring all the time. The wine will fizz, keep stirring until all ingredients come together.
Drain the clams and add to the pan. Turn up the heat and stir or shake the clams vigorously making sure they have been mixed in well. Season to taste with salt and black pepper; don’t add too much as your clams are naturally salted and the salt from the ham adds an amazing flavour. As the clams cook they will release beautiful juices which will add to the sauce.
Add your chopped parsley to the pan and then place on a tight fitting lid and cook on medium heat for approximately 3 minutes or until all of the clams have opened. If using frozen clams you may only need 2 minutes. Any clams that have not opened please throw away!
Give it a last stir and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve into small bowls or individual dishes with some lovely crusty fresh bread and a glass of chilled white wine.



MasterChef 2021 quarter finalist Michele Rodriquez-Wise