The day to day cuisine of the 1950s and ’60s was a plain affair, untroubled by innovation or an excessive variety of ingredients. It was then, circa 1961, with horror that I greeted the arrival at the dinner table of gammon served with a slice of inexplicable pineapple. In garnishing the main course with what was clearly the dessert we presumed that our dear mother had strayed from the path of reason and was wandering the foothills of insanity. I now blame Fanny.
Years later I was similarly surprised to be served this time by a restaurateur friend lemon sole with crispy bacon. Unlike the gammon and pineapple transgression, this marriage works extraordinarily well and the idea of fish with meat is now widely accepted. Not that any meat will do. Chicken works in certain fish dishes such as paella, but it is pork in the form of sausage or bacon that really does the trick. Nor is every fish suitable the mild flavours of white fish and bivalve molluscs being a requirement. The following simple exploitation of this happy relationship, served with bread, makes a quick and delicious lunch. It also works with Oysters and other Clams you can see in the picture some Clams that crept unbidden into the pan.
- Yield: 2 Servings
- 400 g Cockles, cleaned
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 150 g cooking chorizo, sliced into rough chunks
- 1 lemon juice
- A small handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Have the Cockles cleaned and ready to cook. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and sauté the chorizo until its lovely red fat runs, about 4 minutes. Now throw in the Cockles, cover the pan tightly and cook until the shells open.
- Squeeze over the lemon juice, stir in the chopped parsley and serve immediately, in warmed bowls.