84. Clams, Cream & Samphire
Ok so we splashed out on the good stuff at yesterday’s @prawnonthelawn fish pop up and got these perfect Porthilly clams; god how I love clams. We fired up the clay oven and roasted them with some broad beans, bacon, and samphire foraged from Petherick Creek. Finished with a splash of cream to temper the saltiness, and some shredded fennel fronds I found in my coat pocket also picked on a recent walk, they were awesome. We cooked this in our wood fired oven in a heavy casserole and there was no need for a lid, the heat was so ferocious the clams burst open as easily as popping corn, quite a spectacle to watch.
For 2 as a main course:
1kg fresh clams
100g fresh or frozen broad beans
75g bacon lardons
1 banana shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
100ml dry white wine
3tbsp double cream
2tbsp chopped fennel herb, dill or parsley, or a mixture
Rinse the clams under cold running water for a couple of minutes, checking through and discarding any with broken shells, then store in a bowl of cold water while you prep the veg.
Bring a pan of water to the boil then cook the broad beans for 4 minutes, drain, and refresh under cold water. Now for my favourite task of double podding - nick the end of the papery pale skins, and gently squeeze out the bright green bean within. Discard the skins or save for stock. Give the samphire a good rinse and, if foraged, trim the roots and sort through it thoroughly keeping only the fine bright green top half.
In a heavy, lidded sauté pan or casserole, warm a glug of olive oil over a medium heat and fry the bacon for a couple of minutes until it's beginning to crisp up. Add the garlic and shallot and cook for another minute, stirring. Now add the beans and samphire and cook for a minute before pouring on the wine then drain the clams, add to the pot, turn up the heat and clamp on a lid. Give the pan a shake and cook until the clams have all opened, a matter of minutes.
Remove the lid, stir through the cream and scatter over the herbs. Taste for seasoning - you probably won't need salt! The beans and samphire really help make this into a filling dish but bread for dunking wouldn't go amiss.