Monday’s with Mami – Almejas Con Arroz

Posted · 31 Comments

This is my Abuela Rora and Tita Carlota.  Two of my great aunts in Spain.

They are my inspiration!  We usually speak every other week or so.  Conversation centers on my boys, sisters, family and food!

In a loud, concerned, almost piercing voice, my tita’s usually ask, “Y LOS NINOS?  ESTAN COMIENDO??  TENEIS QUE ALIMENTAR!!!  AY MIS NINOS… AY MIS NINOS… PORQUE TENEIS QUE ESTAR TAN LEJOS?! (and the boys?  are they eating?  oh my boys… oh my boys… why do they have to be so far away?)

Which I alway’s reply, “Ya Tita, estan bien… si… estan comiendo. (they’re ok… yes.. they’re eating)

That’s just the way it’s been for my family.  Alway’s about food.  Making sure we’re eating well, enough, and by God, growing!  So of course, our conversation usually turns to what they’re cooking and what I’m cooking and me jotting down family recipes.

Last week, I visited our local Asian market and was ecstatic to find small clams, perfect for Spanish recipes.  Here in Iowa, I’ve only been able to find little neck clams.  Little neck clams are way too big for dishes such as almejas con arroz or almejas a la marinera.  (If you can’t find small clams in your area, make sure to visit your Asian grocer.)

After finding these clams, I called my mami and we later called my aunts in Spain for the families recipe of almejas con arroz. This is Abuela Rora’s favorite dish and one she makes every time we visit.  Her craft in the kitchen is beyond words and one that I hope to take after.

Almejas Con Arroz

Serves 6 adults (and 2 toddlers :)
  • 2 cups clams
  • 3 tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 large white onion
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1 small bunch of fresh parsley (about 5 tbls)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry (fino) sherry (Spanish white wine, such as Pedro Romero, a pale dry sherry, fino)
  • 1 1/2 cups small or medium grain white rice
  • 4 cups of water
  • Salt to taste


  • In a large sauce pan, heat 3 tbls of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Add the onion and 4-5 whole cloves of garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent, not browned and the garlic has browned a bit on the outside, (the inside should still be raw) about 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the onion and garlic to a food processor or blender.
  • Add the small bunch of parsley in the same pan as the onion and garlic.  Saute until just wilted and transfer to the food processor or blender.
  • Puree the onion, garlic, and parsley.
  • Add the puree back to the pan.  Add the clams.  If using fresh, cleaned clams, bring to a boil until the clams have opened.  Discard any that remain closed.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  If using pre-cooked clams, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the rice, bay leaves, wine and 2 cup of water.  Cooking like a risotto, once the liquid has cooked down, add an additional cup of water.  Once that liquid has cooked down, add an additional cup of water and simmer over medium heat until the rice is tender.  Total cooking time should be about 25 minutes.

Your rice should be on the soupier side, perfect for dipping bread!

Buen Provecho!!

I wanted to thank Brie of Le Grand Fromage for a friendship award!  Thank you Brie!!

Also, Kristy from My Little Space for a 2009 Blogger Appreciation Award.  Thanks Kristy, you are so great! 

Also, My coconut flour persimmon muffin recipe turned a few heads as I was asked to feature this recipe on Foodshots and I won 2 quarts of coconut oil for a winning recipe entry on the Tropical Traditions recipe blog.  I really am enjoying baking with coconut flour so look out for some future recipes!

31 Responses to "Monday’s with Mami – Almejas Con Arroz"
  1. Fresh Local and Best says:

    Oh my goodness! Your aunties are so adorable! This clams with rice recipe looks delicious!

  2. Damaris says:

    sounds like my family in Brazil. some things are universal (thank goodness)

  3. My Little Space says:

    You're most welcome, Diana! Oh that your grand aunts! How nice to meet them finally. They both look very healthy. And not to forget, your clam recipe looks yummy too.

  4. Miriam says:

    Lovely recipe! And yes, in any Spanish family everything is always about food and being correctly nourished… maybe it's something inherited from the Civil War times, I don't know. But elderly people in Spain tend to stuff you… ;-D

  5. girlichef says:

    How wonderful! It is so amazing that you have such a wonderful support system from near and far!! Gorgeous recipe, I can just taste it. And congrats on your awards πŸ˜€

  6. Tien says:

    I will have to look for small clams in my Asian store the next time that I go. The dish looks delishes. -Tien

  7. Divina Pe says:

    Nice to have some family around. And that dish looks wonderful. Never had this kind of dish before.

  8. Tasty Eats At Home says:

    Congrats on the coconut flour success! This dish sounds lovely – and if you can find clams where you are, I guess I have no excuse! I'll have to check out my Asian grocery next time I go. I typically pass by any clams I see at the grocery because they're so expensive.

  9. Velva says:

    Isn't it wonderful to have such great women in your life? A wonderful grandmother and Aunt-This kind of blog post just always warms my heart.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  10. Mother Rimmy says:

    This looks like a meal my husband will love. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Anncoo says:

    Thanks for sharing this dish, I love it!

  12. Cristie says:

    Family and strong women, could it get any better than that? Love this blog and the connection between your two worlds!

  13. Claudia Medeiros says:

    Congrats on your award !!!

    What lovely aunties you have, Diana ! One day each one of us will be exactly like them :) and I do really hope so !
    Well, about your recipe … MARVELOUS ! FANTASTIC ! SUPERP ! Beautiful combination πŸ˜€

    Besitos to your lovely aunties :)


  14. Jen says:

    I love this post! Thanks so much for sharing the pictures of your aunties. And man, that looks so delicious!!!

  15. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    Congratulations on the awards! The rice & clam dish sounds amazing. And I love that you stay in touch with your family on the other side of the world; it's not always easy but so important… :)

  16. Chow and Chatter says:

    oh your family is so sweet love it are your boys eating!!! love this recipe and congrats on the awards

    Love Rebecca

  17. Diana Bauman says:

    Thanks everyone for the comments! I do love my family so much!!

    I accidentally forgot to mention to add 2 bay leaves to the sauce, sorry!!

    Alta – The little neck clams at our regular grocery store are so expensive here as well! I got that entire package of wild clams from the Asian grocer for $2.50! A steal!!!

  18. Ruth says:

    I love your family! And I love anything that implies seafood and rice! You're killing me with this recipe!!!!

  19. Arabic Bites says:

    Congrats on your awards diana :)
    Spanish family sounds so much like Arabic gulf family everything is always about food πŸ˜€
    we likes food,like to eat it together. celebrate with it :) and we talk about food a lot πŸ˜€

    There is (Mediterranean food cooking event )& it's about Spanish food this time … your recipe look so good maybe you can participate…. I'll find the link & email it :)

    Have a good day :)

  20. NOELLE says:

    Congrats on the recipe success! This is a wonderful main meal dish.

  21. Brie: Le Grand Fromage says:

    haha, grandmothers (or great aunts) are hilarious.

    mmmm, clams. little salty, chewy pieces of tasty goodness. this looks delicious!

  22. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful family recipe, the clams look really good!

  23. Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well says:

    Oh Diana, this looks fantastic! Simple to make but you can practically smell the aroma from here. And I have to giggle about your aunties because my entire family does the same thing! It's all about eating. Gotta love 'em!

  24. oldwaystable says:

    "How are the boys? Are they eating?" —> love it! And the Almejas Con Arroz looks fantastic!

  25. Amber @ Native Food and Wine says:

    Another great sounding recipe! How do you do it? I love clams. You could probably make this with cockles no?


  26. Karine says:

    Your aunties are really cute!

    That makes me remember that my grandma is a bit worried because I don't eat a lot of potatoes…

    By the way, your dish sounds delicious! :)

  27. Shenandoah bed and breakfast says:

    I totally love anything in the crockpot during the colder months. This getting dark early stuff seems to zap the energy right out of me in the evening and having dinner ready by the time we get home is awesome!!


  28. French Cooking for Dummies says:

    Me encantan las almejas con arroz! Thanks or sharing your family recipe πŸ˜€

  29. Lori Lynn says:

    Adorable, love your aunties!
    Clams sound great!

  30. Rabbittrick says:

    What a great simple recipe for rice and clams… and still retain all its flavours! I can't wait to be able to try it one day. It's got family love cooked right in =)

  31. 3 hungry tummies says:

    Wonderful looking dish! thanks for sharing a family recipe!!

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