Clams are popular served any way on Cape Cod but, in Spain, they are served as warm tapas. Cooked with lots of garlic and sherry, they are always served with crusty bread to sop up the delicious juices. Use a dry or semi-dry sherry and follow the Spanish maxim: Never cook with a sherry you wouldn’t drink.
Barnstable Littleneck Clams in Sherry Sauce
1/4 cup olive Oil
2 Tablespoons butter, melted, or more olive oil
2 shallots or 1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3-4 lbs. littleneck or small clams
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 Tablespoon flour
Black pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon lemon juice, or to taste
Handful chopped fresh parsley
Baguette for sopping up juices
Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots, and cook, stirring, until shallots soften, about 5 minutes. Add clams, and raise heat to medium high. Shake pot often until clams begin to open, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the clams and set aside in a bowl.
Whisk flour into the sherry and add to pan. Cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes, and then stir in black and red pepper and butter. Return clams to pan, and cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes. Put clams on serving dish, and add lemon juice to sauce; taste and adjust seasoning. Pour sauce over clams, garnish with parsley and serve.