Steamed cockles with white port and wild fennel

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Rather like sherry, white port really complements shellfish such as cockles. You could use clams for this if you can't get live cockles, or even use a mixture of both. Cockles need to be left in a bowl of cold water for an hour or so and agitated with your hands quite regularly so that they shed any sand.

1kg live cockles
150ml white port
2tbsp wild fennel or dill
150g chilled butter, cut into small pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Rinse the cockles in fresh water and place in a large saucepan with the white port and fennel. Season lightly, cover with a lid and cook on a high heat, shaking the pan every so often until all the cockles are opened. Strain off the liquid into another pan and whisk in the butter until melted and emulsified. Spoon the cockles into warmed serving bowls and pour the butter over.

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