Bulhão Pato Clams

Bulhão Pato clams get their name from a famous Portuguese poet.

Raimundo António de Bulhão Pato was famously fond of his food. He mentioned these little suckers in his writing and they have taken the world (or at the very least, Portugal) by storm.

The recipe is wonderfully simple and you end up with the most incredibly delicious pile of clams, with a soup for spooning and dipping afterwards.

Not bad seeing as they only take 5mins in the pan!

Fast food at its finest.

The best way I can describe the flavour is…

Imagine you’re sitting in a cabin by the sea. Outside the wind is howling, the waves are crashing and spraying the windows with white water. You can smell the salt. Inside the fire’s lit and crackling away. There are candles everywhere and you’re just tucking into a herby, lemony soup with some thick bread, smothered in French, salty butter.

That sort of sums up what these babies taste like!

First of all you’re going to want to let your clams soak for a little while, in cool, salted water.

Leave them to relax for about an hour.

By then they should have loosened up enough to release any sand they’re holding onto.

Drain the water & give them all a good scrub under running water.

When you’re ready, heat some olive oil in a frying pan and toss in a couple of garlic cloves (just peel them and crush with the side of your knife).

Leave it to sizzle away and flavour the oil for a minute, then shake your clams in.

Cover immediately. Use a lid if your frying pan has one, or get resourceful if it doesn’t…

After about a minute, quickly open it up and pour in a glass of white wine.

Squeeze in the juice of 1 or 2 lemons, depending how big & juicy they are, and cover it up again.

After 2 mins have a little peek and see if they’ve all popped open.

If they have, tear over a small handful of fresh coriander (cilantro).

Grind over a good dusting of black pepper and add a couple knobs of butter.

(This isn’t in the traditional recipe, but it really gives the sauce a deliciously rich kiss of life and you’ll thank me when you’re spooning it out as soup later!)

Fish out your clams & pop them into a bowl. Discard any that haven’t opened.

Don’t be afraid to pile ’em high.

Give the sauce one more minute and then pour it all over the clams.

Serve as quickly as possible with some chilled white wine & crusty bread.

A perfectly light supper for two, or a seriously impressive starter for four.

Use your fingers, pick up a clam and slurp it out.

A taste explosion you & your guests wont soon forget.

You’ll be happy as a clam by the time you get to the bottom!

(Sorry, had to throw at least ONE clam joke in there!)

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