I first fell in love with this dish when dining in a restaurant on the rugged cliff tops of Lagomera, one of the smaller canary islands, made distinct by it's craggy volcanic mountains and beaches. I confess that when I first sampled this dish, the fish was lightly battered however I personally prefer to keep things simple and let the elemental flavors do the real talking. Once cooked, the delicate hake will melt on the top of your tongue, and partially absorbs the beautifully delicate white wine sauce, enriched by the the salty ocean taste of fresh clams.
I was tersely informed by the fishmonger lady when I attempted to purchase the clams (so I thought) in a local market that these mollusks pictured are in fact named Tellinas! These little babies are less bulky than common clams and enrich the sauce with their more subtle flavor, however undoubtedly the result is far more fiddly. Therefore, standard clams are just perfect for this recipe, and handily more readily available.
4 * 180g of hake steaks (on the bone)
200g of fresh clams, scrubbed and de-bearded
200ml of dry white wine
150ml of fish stock
1 small shallot
3 garlic cloves - chopped
Handful of chopped parsley
200g of frozen peas
1 slosh of olive oil
Handful of steamed green beans or asparagus
Roast baby potatoes/crusty bread to serve
1. Discard any broken clams, wash and de-beard the remainder ready for cooking.
2. Heat a slosh of olive oil in a large wide pan with a lid (essential), and gently fry the shallot and garlic until golden. Slowly add the white wine and simmer for a couple of minutes. Then, add the fish stock and cook for 5 minutes, stirring gently.
3. Season your hake before placing it in the sauce and cook it for 4-5 minutes (watching vigilantly) until it begins to whiten and soften, then add the clams and defrosted frozen peas. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, the clams should open and those that don't must be discarded. Add the handful of fresh parsley and cook for another 1 minute.
4. Serve in deep bowls (to accommodate the glorious sauce) with your steamed veg of choice (fine green beans/asparagus) and your carb of choice (potatoes or crusty bread) and dig in!