Coquinas Again?

Well I have to say I’ve been a little surprised how many searches for “coquina recipe” I’ve seen on my site stats. With that in mind, and given that we’re at the beach again, I figured: why not share another coquina experiment?

For this dish, I’ve divided the coquinas by size: you will need two cups of coquinas in total, but sort out and reserve about a quarter cup of the largest and most colorful ones you can find (see Warning! below). The smaller coquinas are used for your broth, and the larger ones will go directly into the rice.

The Broth:

1-3/4 cups of live coquinas–cleaned, rinsed, & sorted
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups water

In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and saute quickly. Add the coquinas, salt, and water bring to just below a boil, then simmer for at least twenty minutes. Strain and set aside.

The Rice:

1/4 cup of large, live coquinas (cleaned, rinsed & sorted)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large tomato, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups of white rice (I prefer valencia to long grain)
3 cups (or so) of coquina broth

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the rice, stirring to coat each grain of rice with oil. Saute for about a minute, then add the minced garlic, diced onions and diced tomato. Saute for another minute or so, then add the large coquinas and enough of the coquina broth to cover the rice. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the frying pan. Continue to add the coquina broth about a half cup at a time–if possible, without stirring. You aren’t really making a risotto here, but you’re using a similar technique.

When the rice is tender, transfer to a serving dish. Now here’s the warning.

Warning! The only problem I see with this dish is that biting down on a coquina shell could be hazardous to your teeth. When I served this dish up, I made sure to plate it in such a way that the coquinas were visible in the rice. Using the largest coquinas you can find, and the most brilliantly colored, will make it a little easier to see those little critters. Still, I strongly recommend you eat this dish with care.

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