This recipe comes from Chef Jose Andres, one of the most innovative Spanish chefs, who has brought his creations to the States, beginning with multiple restaurants in D.C. as well as the famous The Bazaar in Beverly Hills. Once I made this dish it was love at first taste. I make this dish often and believe me if you try it, I’m sure you will add it to your regular menu. It is a very traditional dish in Spain and although it’s a stew, it is a light dish that can be enjoyed in any kind of weather. Personally it reminds me of summertime. This dish is actually quite simple and very quick to make. The main preparation is in the gathering of the right ingredients. You want the freshest Sea Bass and live Manila clams. You’ll also need Pimenton which is a sweet paprika. This might be a challenge to locate but believe me, its out there. If you can’t find it, you can also use any good quality paprika. Also, you will need a pinch of saffron. Saffron can be quite expensive but you only use a small amount. You’ll need that in your cupboard for future recipes, trust me. Let’s begin!
You will need two large russet potatoes.
Peel and dice the potatoes into nice size cubes.
Heat two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet, add the potatoes to the hot oil.
I divert from Jose’s recipe by adding a dried pepper into the hot oil, this adds a little extra heat, this is completely optional.
Continue to saute the potatoes, turning occasionally to make sure they are cooking evenly, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Now take the three large Roma tomatoes.
Cut the tomatoes in half and get the cheese grater. Yes, the cheese grater.
You will grate the tomatoes into a bowl, discarding the skins.
Pour the grated tomato pulp over the potatoes. Let this continue to saute for 2 more minutes.
Now you will need a teaspoon of Pimenton (Spanish paprika).
Add the Pimenton to the skillet. You can also add a pinch of sugar at this point.
Add a pinch of Saffron.
Pour the Saffron in the skillet.
Jose’s recipe calls for a fresh made fish stock. This can be a little time consuming. It also says that you can substitute this with canned fish stock or chicken stock. I tried the canned fish stock and it was way too overpowering for my taste. The stock that works perfectly for me is this chicken stock. This is also the point at which I remove the chili pepper.
I make two cups, but only use just enough to cover the potatoes. Stir well and cover the skillet. Simmer at medium low for 10 minutes.
Now, take one dozen of live Manila clams, wash in cold water, scrubbing off any gack or dirt. If any of the clams stay open at this point, discard those. Also when you cook the clams, if any don’t open up after cooking, discard those too.
We use one pound of Sea Bass fillets, cut into three equal sized pieces. Rinse and dry off and season with a little salt.
Add the clams to the skillet.
Add the Sea Bass to the skillet, cover and continue to simmer at a low-medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes.
Now prepare the Souquet. You will need a small bunch of Italian parsley leaves, 4 cloves of garlic, sea salt and a mortar and pestle.
Add one cube of the cooked potato and use lots of elbow grease, mashing the mixture well.
Mash, mash, mash, adding a little sea salt.
This is the finished Souquet. I have no idea what this means or the origin so, if anyone out there does, please let me know.
Stir in the Souquet into the skillet and serve.
As you can see the Sea Bass has cooked perfectly and the clams have all opened.
Serve in a bowl with a nice piece of crusty bread. Enjoy!
2 large russet potatoes
3 Roma tomatoes
1 small bunch of Italian parsley
3 – 4 whole cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon of Pimenton (Spanish paprika)
1 pinch of Saffron
1 dried chili pepper (optional)
2 to 3 cups of stock (fish stock, chicken stock or clam juice) I prefer chicken stock
1 dozen live Manila clams
1 lb. Sea Bass fillet (cut into 3 equal pieces)
Wash and peel 2 large russet potatoes, then cut in medium size cubes. Pour about two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large hot skillet, then saute the potatoes for 3 to 4 minutes, coating well in the olive oil. Optional: Add 1 whole dried chili pepper into the skillet, you will remove this later. Next, cut 3 Roma tomatoes in half and grate them over a bowl, discarding the skins. Pour the grated tomato pulp over the potatoes, stir in. Add 1 pinch of sugar, 1 teaspoon of Pimenton (Spanish paprika), and 1 pinch of Saffron. Remove the chili pepper at this point. Add 2 cups of the stock, or enough to cover the potatoes. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Rinse and clean 1 dozen live Manila clams. Rinse and dry 1 lb. of Sea Bass fillet, cut into three equal pieces. Season the Sea Bass lightly with sea salt. Add the clams and Sea Bass to the skillet and cover, continuing its simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. While the fish, clams and potatoes continue to simmer, prepare the Souquet. Take one small bunch of rinsed Italian parsley leaves, 3 to 4 whole cloves of garlic and one cube of potato from the skillet. In a mortar and pestle you will mash these ingredients well, adding a little sea salt. You can speed this process up by pre-chopping the parsley and garlic before hand. Once the Sea Bass and clams have cooked, stir in the Souquet and serve. Plate in a bowl with a piece of crusty bread.
Serves 2 -4 (depending on how hungry you are)