A lump of butter.
A large onion.
Some spring onions.
Half a cup of dry white wine.
2 and a half pounds of cockles you picked yourself.
This is really EASY. The great thing about cockles apart from the fact they’re free is they are the simplest things to cook. Bang a bit of wine in and you’ll be thinking you’re cordon bleu in about five minutes. Here’s what I do:
I use a sautee pan I got for a wedding present but if you’re not married any large pot with a lid will do fine.
Heat a good dollop of butter in the pan taking care not to let it get too hot. Gently fry some onion and garlic until golden brown. Now add some spring onions and wine and bring to the boil. Sprinkle with black pepper, NO SALT (the cockles contain a squirt of seawater), and put in your cockles.
Turn the heat up full tilt to get the ugly part over as quick as possible. Cook on a high heat till all the shells have opened which is about 4 minutes. If you’re feeling fussy you can strain the broth through some fine muslin to remove any small bits of sand. I don’t bother, just throw out the bit in the bottom of your bowl.
That’s it, the whole performance takes about 10 mins and after a day on the beach is truly satisfying. Sprinkle with flat leaf parsley to impress the wife (optional) and serve with crunchy toasted french bread. Bingo, you’re done.