This classic Spanish dish is perfect any night of the week with some toasted bread and a crisp white wine. The addition of saffron elevates the entire dish. If you cook the beans ahead it comes together quickly for a mouthwatering meal that will transport you to Madrid.
SPANISH CHORIZO VS. MEXICAN CHORIZO
Spanish chorizo is a dried and smoked sausage flavored with paprika and other spices for a distinctly smoky flavor. It is shelf stable at room temperature so it won't be in the meat department. You mayha find it in cheese stores or import specialty stores. I've found it at Cost Plus.
Spanish Chorizo is not at all the same as Mexican Chorizo and they are not interchangable. Mexican Chorizo is a spicy, fresh sausage and there is a vegan version called soyrizo. These would not work in this dish because the flavors will overwhelm the clams and saffron. If you can't find Spanish Chorizon opt for a good hard cured salami. If you can find with with smoked paprika all the better but if not, add 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika to the dish.
1. Rinse the beans and cook with 1 tablespoon of salt and one cinnamon tree leaf in a pressure cooker for 25 minutes or on the stovetop for 1 hour to 90 minutes until tender.
2. Meanwhile clean the clams of debris and purge the sand from them by soaking them in cool salted water (it should taste like ocean water) for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Put the saffron in a small bowl and cover with warm water to allow the saffron to bloom.
3. In a large pan over medium heat saute the chorizo to crisp it up. It is fully cooked, you are just looking for it to give off some of its grease and get crispy. Remove to a plate.
4. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and add the onions and garlic. Saute until the onions and garlic are soft.
5. Add the saffron, chicken stock. Rinse the beans and add to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.
7. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
8. Add the clams and cover for 5 minutes.
9. Discard any unopened clams, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread and a crisp white wine.
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