Spicy Clam Dip
In this chile-flecked take on a classic 1950s clam dip, the cream cheese-based mixture is spooned into a gratin dish, sprinkled with Parmesan and baked until the topping melts and the dip turns molten and savory. Canned clams are traditional here, providing a gentle saline note and nubby texture without an assertive flavor. If you’re starting with cream cheese straight from the fridge, soften it briefly in the microwave before adding it to the bowl; cold cream cheese is a lot harder to mix.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 8ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 2(6.5-ounce) cans whole clams (1 cup), coarsely chopped (save the clam juice)
- ½cup packaged, low-moisture grated mozzarella
- ¼cup finely chopped parsley
- 3tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, plus more for garnish
- 1jalapeño, seeded (if desired) and finely chopped
- 1tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1teaspoon hot sauce, plus more to taste
- 1teaspoon fish sauce (optional) or clam juice, plus more to taste
- Salt, if needed, and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼cup grated Parmesan
- Potato chips, for serving
Step 1Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, using a fork or rubber spatula, stir and mash together the softened cream cheese and sour cream until smooth.
Step 2Add clams, mozzarella, parsley, scallions, jalapeño, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, fish sauce or a teaspoon of reserved clam juice, and lots of black pepper, and stir until well combined. If the mixture seems thick, stir in a little more reserved clam juice.
Step 3Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. If you think it needs salt, add it lightly, or try adding a little more fish sauce or more clam juice instead. Dip can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator before baking.
Step 4Transfer mixture to shallow 1-quart ceramic baking dish or gratin dish. Sprinkle Parmesan on top and bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 30 to 35 minutes. Garnish with sliced scallions, and serve hot or warm with potato chips.