Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Chunky Chopped Clam and Bacon Dip
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The countdown to the new year has begun, and, as the nesting months of its first quarter approach, I'm starting to give some consideration to fireplace and football food. This week I wanted to explore some of my favorite snacks and appetizers, especially the ones that make hosting a breeze. They're simple to make and easy on the pocketbook. Their greatest virtue is that they'll also allow you to enjoy a game or conversation with friends and fellow fans. I also wanted to come up with newer versions of old recipes that everyone likes. Who doesn't like clam dip or can resist one that's laced with bacon? I know I can't, so I thought I'd give this a try and, hopefully, come up with something that could be shared with you. I'm glad I did. While I prefer the flavor of fresh chopped clams, canned clams work well here if they are drained. I reserve the clam juice and use it at the very end of the recipe to achieve the consistency I want for my dip. Make sure your bacon is really crisp, well-drained and not too finely crumbled before adding it to the mix. The red bell pepper adds wonderful color to the dip. If you don't care for horseradish use hot sauce instead. I like to prepare this a full day before serving it. This dip ages really well if refrigerated. Here's the recipe.
Chunky Chopped Clam and Bacon Dip...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
10 slices thick-cut smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cans (6 oz. size) drained chopped clams, liquid reserved
1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon sour cream
8 ounces softened cream cheese
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish or horseradish sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
Blend all ingredients in medium mixing bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. If dip is too thick, thin with spoonfuls of reserved clam juice until desired consistency is reached. Remove from refrigerator 1/2 hour before serving. Serve with chips, crackers or bread. Discard leftovers that have been sitting at room temperature. Yield: 12 servings.