I’m not too sure that there is a large crowd anywhere screaming for Clam Dip. What I do know is that anyone that ever tried this recipe couldn’t put it down. I swear to you that my son, of only 16 months of age, flat out ignored the potato chips and full on scooped the Clam dip out with his fingers and shoveled that creamy delight right into his little mouth, one hand full at a time. The secret to this party dip is literally in what I call, “The Miracle of Clams”! If you are wondering what this means then I should explain.
The Miracle of Clams isn’t just in their ability to make Pearls, it’s in their flavor, and in their very being and the way they live and function. They are a very clean and tighty creature. If you could dare say that they have good Hygiene, then that’s what they have. And I believe that makes for a great recipe. Think about it. What’s the first thing you do before you start cutting your vegetables? You wash, rinse and clean them off, right? Of course you do. No one wants dirt and soot in their food and anyone with common sense keeps a clean house as well. Well, these little Clams do the same exact thing. They clean everything. And with a little help from my Clam Dip recipe, they’ll clean your pallet too!
Clam Dip Ingredients:
1 pkg Cream Cheese
1 can Chopped or Minced Clams with Juice
1 chopped Garlic Clove
1 chopped Green Onion
2 tbsp diced Bell Pepper (I use Red for color)
1 tsp fresh chopped Parsley
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Bacon Clam Chowder just makes sense, doesn’t it? I know this soup is most appreciated in the colder months of the year, but I just couldn’t resist. Personally I could have it prepared like this anytime and still love it. Also, there’s just something about putting a hot chili or creamy soup in a large toasted bread bowl that just screams, “Let’s Eat”! So if you’ve got this on the menu when I sit down to eat, you know what I’m ordering.
This Clam Chowder, in my opinion, is much more flavorful than standard recipes. The three most important ingredients in this soup that really make it pop are the onions, the clam juice and of course our beloved, Bacon. These ingredients make the Clam Chowder unmistakably delicious. It’s true, the only other vegetable I add are chopped Russet Potatoes, but I find the extra addition of Celery and Carrots aren’t necessary, in order to bring the full color and flavor of this recipe about. Though you are more than welcome to add them if you’d like, it really doesn’t matter. It’s just a personal preference, that’s all. I think you could even get away with adding corn if you wanted to.
Clam Chowder Ingredients:
4 strips of bacon sliced into 1/4 pieces
1/2 Chopped Onion
1 tsp Sugar
2 tbsp Butter (Salted or Unsalted)
2 tbsp White Wine (Cooking Wine or Red Wine is fine)
1/2 cup Flour
2 cans of minced clams with juice
1 qt Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Chopped Russet Potatoes (or your favorite)
1 tbsp Black Pepper
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Fresh Chopped Parsley
Absolutely Babysit this soup. It’s very temperamental, in my opinion. On Medium High heat, cook your bacon and onions. Season with a shake of black pepper and add the sugar to help caramelizing the onions. Then add the butter and Cooking Wine. Once that has melted, stir in the flour and almost immediately add the clams. The cream will follow shortly after, a half cup at a time to start, then bring to a light boil, stir and add another half cup. Once half of the quart of cream has been added, you can add the rest all at once. Stir really well, then taste it for seasoning, then add the pepper and your taste for salt. Now the potatoes can go in and you can reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring frequently. It’s very important to keep from burning the bottom. Using a thicker pan will help this tremendously. Once the potatoes are cooked, 10 to 15 minutes, add the parsley and serve your Clam Chowder in a bowl, cup or toasted bread bowl.
For me, Steamed Clams have turned into a fun and exciting dish to snack on. It really has that jaw dropping ooh and awe effect on people who really appreciate a whole plate of them when they hit the table. These are Little-Neck Clams and for me, they have a very impressive and distinct taste. Not to mention they are fun to cook. Steamed Clams are an excellent appetizer, even if the dinner guests don’t particularly care for shellfish or seafood. Can you guess why? Take a look at this picture below. It’s impressive, right? Of course right. So whether or not you get the credit you deserve for making such a scrumptious and tasty treat, at least you’ll get points for being eccentric. This particular recipe couldn’t be any easier either. All you need is 10 minutes and a few ingredients and you are off and running.
If you’re worried about the sand in Clam Shells and how to get rid of the Grittiness, there are several things you can do. First off, the Clams I used in this video were Farm raised. So if you are using these, you don’t really have to worry about the sand because they’re always cleaned out before they are shipped off. Secondly, if you haven’t watched the video yet you’ll see that these Little-Neck Clams are rinsed and washed off before they are Steamed. So consider that before you ponder your options. If they are wild clams, just give them a soak in cold water for approximately 20 minutes. I do the same thing with Crawfish only I cover them with salt so that they can purge. Both clams and Crawfish spit out the muddy sand they’ve ingested as part of their daily diet. You can also give them a real quick rinse after they’ve been steamed. This helps to cut down on the Grittiness, if there is any. And if you’re worried about it in the leftover Clam juice I turn into a Clam Salsa in this recipe, you can cheese cloth and strain the juice just before adding the other ingredients.
Steamed Clams Ingredients:
1 inch water in your pot
2 tbsp butter
1 Chopped Garlic Clove
2 Chopped Green Onion (scallions)
Black Pepper to taste and Paprika, Cayenne or Chili Flakes
Topped with a Sprinkle of some freshly chopped Parsley