It’s So Fluffy!

18 Jan


If you recognize that headline, you’ve seen Despicable Me and hopefully adore the maniacal waxings of a young hoarder in the making.

We felt the same way when we saw the bit of shiny happy above.

So old-fashioned. Our thoughts immediately leapt to chilled seafood dips. Can’t you just see the beads of condensation forming on the little cup? The slices of cucumber fanned just so? While a tangy Bloody Mary/cream cheese-sour cream/vodka/horseradish/lemon dip comes to mind, the stately shimmer also harkens our imagination to an old timey classic — clam dip.

Following are a classic version and a way fancier and satisfying New York Times version with beer-steamed clams, bacon and chipotle.

RETRO CLAM DIP
Makes 1 Cup

1 6 ½ ounce can chopped clams plus juice
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon garlic powder (try 1/2 tbsp fresh garlic)
½ teaspoon onion salt (try Old Bay)
2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
Dash of hot sauce (optional)
green onions

Drain the clams and reserve the liquid.

Place the cream cheese in a bowl, add the clams, the Worcestershire, lemon juice, garlic powder and onion salt. Blend well. Gradually add the clam juice, a tablespoon or so at a time until the dip has a nice consistency. Stir in the parsley.

Serve with potato chips.

_______________________________________________

NUEVA YORK CLAM DIP
New York Times

1 12-ounce bottle light lager beer
18 littleneck clams, scrubbed
4 slices bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons Mexican crema or sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (with clinging sauce), minced
Juice of half a lime
Several dashes habanero hot sauce or Tabasco sauce
½ red bell pepper, finely diced
3 scallions, thinly sliced.

1. Pour beer into a wide saucepan large enough to hold clams in one layer. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Add clams, cover, and cook until clams open, 3 to 5 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer clams to a bowl, discarding any unopened clams. Reserve 2 tablespoons cooking liquid, discard remainder. When clams are cool, remove from shells and mince.

3. In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain. Add onion and garlic to skillet and sauté until garlic is golden and onions are softened, about 1 minute.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and crema or sour cream. Add reserved clam cooking liquid, bacon, onions and garlic, clams, cilantro, chipotle pepper, lime juice and hot sauce. Stir to combine. Garnish with red bell pepper and scallions. If desired, serve with potato or tostada chips, or assorted dipping vegetables like cherry tomatoes, celery and jicama.

Yield: About 2 cups (8 servings).

__________________________________________________________
Here’s a wildcard:
SUMPTUOUS SEAFOOD DIP

Once you taste this rich combination of shrimp and crab, you’ll understand why it’s called sumptuous.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20-25 minutes (if served warm)

Makes: 2 1/2 cups

1 250 gram pkg. firm cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup grated Swiss cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 lb. cooked salad shrimp, patted dry and coarsely chopped

1, 120 g can of crab meat, drained well and patted dry

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill

1 garlic clove, crushed

* dashes of Tabasco and Worcestershire

* salt and white pepper to taste

Place the cream cheese in a bowl and beat until lightened. Mix all remaining ingredients. Spoon the dip into a decorative bowl (heatproof, if served hot). This dip can be served cold or hot. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. To serve hot, cover the dip with foil and heat 20-25 minutes in a 375F oven, or until heated through. Garnish with a few whole shrimp and dill sprigs just before serving, if desired.

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One Response to “It’s So Fluffy!”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Chip Off the Ol’ Block « Saucy Cherie - June 10, 2011

    […] Top potato chips with 1 teaspoon each of caviar and crème fraîche or sour cream, side by side. Our favourite shrimp mousse would be killer with these. Served in our favourite shiny. […]

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