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Fabes with Clams


Fabes with Clams

This summer in Galicia I was going one day yes and another also to one of the places where I enjoy shopping the most: the Santiago food market (That monument that the Tourism Office of this city recommends visiting as if it were the cathedral). One of those mornings, While looking to cover the genre that the villagers had brought from their small orchards, I suddenly realized the existence of a woman who was shelling some fresh beans; The image of those “fabas” (in Galician) or “fabes” (in Asturian) returned me to very distant times: to the kitchen of my house, where in the summer that activity was so usual. It is curious that the sale of those vegetables, which did not seem of any interest to other passers-by, made such a deep impression on me, only similar to perception, that I had experienced with another intimate and familiar object: the deja vu of precious and decorative dried flowers, which seemed to be made of mother-of-pearl, with which my mother relieved the harsh winter that settled in our lives for long and cold months. The memory of this strange flower had haunted me since I left my house, and after years of unsuccessful searching, I considered it disappeared from current life (what is listed in the dialogues as “not available any more”). I recognize that that flower it was more typical of a jewelry store than a florist, due to its whimsical shape and pearly texture, bordered by a fine silver thread; He was known with various names: “pope’s coin”, due to its shape sui generis currency; “mother of pearl flower” as a reminder of the texture of this gem, or “lunaria”, referring to its similarity to the full moon, and its power to protect you from evil spirits by the Moon goddess. That sensation that the discovery of this symbolic flower produced in me, was repeated with those fresh beans, whose existence, also for me considered lost in current times, or worse still perhaps the result of a false memory, which had never existed. He rushed me to buy them in fear that my dream would fade, but when I came out of my amazement and regained my mental composure, I started to party with the saleswoman who gave me all kinds of details about the goodness and delicacy of these “fabes” and his way of cooking them.

At first, I had thought of preparing an Asturian bean stew, the legendary dish of this region, which for many gastronomes is one of the ten typical recipes of Spanish cuisine. But the countrywoman He strongly recommended that I make them with clams or razors, for the recipe of which he gave me an easy and very clear explanation. CWith what I like Asturian cuisine, this would be my first recipe, which can be considered one hundred percent Asturian, since others that I have made and that are considered Asturian, are not exclusive to this land, although we must emphasize that in it land are made with unmatched excellence; I am referring to dishes such as cachopos, rice pudding, freixuelos (pancakes in Spanish), fried milk or custard, they are not really just exclusive to this land.

The truth is that I love the “fabes” and the fresh ones that were prepared in my house, they were even more delicious, for their velvety texture and their delicate flavor, but my taste for these fresh beans had, undoubtedly, to do with my close connection with Asturias, which is part of the sentimental landscape of my childhood and adolescence. Geographically my town is bordering Asturias, and the name of its estuary still arouses great controversy: should it be called the Ribadeo estuary or the Eo estuary? (which for some has very different connotations); For my part, and although I adore my Galician land, I recognize my little nationalist sentiment; I was simply born on this earth and would love any other place in the same way for being born there; and even admitting, as Saramago said, that: “We are more of the land where we were born (and where we have grown) than we imagine”, I do not harbor no feeling of chauvinism and less of segregationism, the only superiority that I recognize is that of the people, wherever they come from. But if I have to admit that old adage that “the country is childhood”, in my case, perhaps it is accentuated more by being born in such a beautiful environment, part Galician, part Asturian, that since I was a child I contemplated every morning from my room , which gave directly to the estuary and from where I could see from the state of the tide, the different winds that blew, not forgetting my favorite: the variety of shades that the sea presented; even today his memory produces a very morbid feeling.

Following the advice of this wise saleswoman, I decided on “beans with clams” (“beans with amueseles”) bythat, although it is a recipe very similar to fabada, they are more summery, with an unmistakable taste of the sea. The origin of these beans is relatively current and is located in the 70s of the last century, But its success was such that today it is difficult to find an Asturian restaurant that does not include them on its menu.


1/2 k. fresh or dried beans of good quality.

1/2 k. clam

1 large chive or one onion

2 or 3 cloves of garlic

1 or 2 bay leaves

a glass of white wine wine


salt and pepper (the latter optional)

1 dl. virgin olive oil (one tablespoon for cooking fabes and the rest for sofrito)


1. These beans do not need to be soaked, but if you use them dry you should put them the night before:

2. Put cold water in a saucepan to cover the beans, with half an onion, the bay leaf and a tablespoon of oil and put it on the fire. These beans do not need more than half an hour of cooking but if you put them dry, I would cook them in the pressure cooker for a quarter of an hour. The water must cover them throughout the cooking time so that the skin does not come off; therefore, if you need liquid, always add cold water to scare them and make them tender; so, simmer them until they are soft:

3. After this time, we will prepare the rehash; that is to say, you heat the oil and incorporate the rest of the chives and the garlic cut into fine and parsley and when it is all poached, we proceed to add the saffron and wine, and immediately add the clams:

4. We will have the clams ready, which we will have left in salted water for an hour, and now we can dump them in the very hot sauce and we will only cook for a few minutes until they open:

5. Now before pouring the clams into the saucepan, I fatten the broth, crushing 1 tablespoon of beans and 3 tablespoons of water with the minipimer:

6. When the clams are open in the sofrito, I add them to the saucepan and season everything and carefully stir it:

7. You can add a little more water (now hot) and cook about 8 minutes over low heat and covered. I like them, I prefer them with a very stuck sauce, but for different colors. There you have the result of the mixture of everything, which after cooking will take on a more agglutinated texture:

8. After this time, they will have thickened and you can serve them:

9. There you have them already served at the source, with the whole and totally tender beans and the exceptional clams and the divine sauce:

Bon Appétit and Good Luck !!!!!!!!!

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