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Food and Travel

Clams ‘Cal Pep’ style

September 30, 2009

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Serves 4 as an appetizer

Cal Pep is a small restaurant in Barcelona where this dish is served. The success of this recipe depends on using the freshest clams possible. Contigo uses tiny, sweet manila clams raised by Hog Island in Point Reyes, Calif., one hour north of San Francisco. To increase the recipe, allow 1/2 pound of clams per person for an appetizer portion.

2 pounds manila clams (the smaller the better)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 ounces sliced Spanish jamon serrano, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
1/2 cup manzanilla sherry
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Pepper, to taste
1. Rinse the clams in cold water. In a large flameproof casserole that will hold the clams in a single layer, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the jamon and cook for 30 seconds or until the garlic is light golden brown.

2. Add the clams and stir well. Cook 1 minute. Pour in the sherry and cover the pan. Cook for 2 minutes or until the clams steam open and the alcohol in the sherry cooks off.

3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the parsley. Cover for 1 minute to allow the oil to emulsify with the sherry and the clam juices. Sprinkle with pepper. Adapted from Contigo