M's Cooking Diary

Musing about food, wine and cooking.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Fabes con camarones

Last summer, my wife and I were walking in Madrid. We had just arrived from Barcelona where we had spent a wine soaked week.
It was around 14:30 and we were both hungry, so we entered a small cool and dark restaurant around 300m south-west of the Plaza Mayor.

We decided to order to plate off the menu. I have no memory of what I ordered. But my wife ordered “fabes con almejas”. It means “white beans with clams” but at the time we did not know. We had asked for suggestion from the waitress and just agreed to what she pointed on the menu.
What we got was a plate of buttery white beans in a sauce aromatized with saffron with nice plump clams cooked just right. They were so good, we were both bowled over.
This is a classic of the province of Asturias.

Since I came back from Spain, I made it a few time, varying what sea food I use. The first time I made it with clams, once with bacalao (salted cod) and yesterday with shrimps.
I made a stock first, with half a dozen, head-on female shrimps (they were all full of eggs) that I chopped with shallot and a bouquet.
I sautéed one chopped onion, 2 clove of garlic in olive oil when the onion was pale gold I added a bouquet (laurel, tarragon rosemary), the white beans, salt and the shrimp stock and enough water to cover.
In a dry pan, I heated some saffron the added a few tea spoon of water to dilute the saffron and put everything with the beans. I
used a pressure cooker so that the beans were ready in less than an hour. I checked from time to time for doneness.

Before serving I added about 2 dzs cooked shrimps and let them warm in the bean.

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