Clam Dip

Clam Dip!Clam dip is one of those foodstuffs that seems to polarize people–either you are completely grossed out by the look, taste, and smell of the stuff, or you are looking to scarf the whole bowl by yourself. I have managed to make converts out of my entire family, and it has now become an expected addition to any party or holiday celebration. We certainly had a batch ready for New Year’s Eve, and it was long gone before midnight!

So here’s my theory: clam dip is gonna make a comeback this year, I can feel it. Retro food is still big, and what’s more retro than clam dip, right? So mark my words. 2013 will be the start of a clam dip renaissance!

1 box of cream cheese (8 oz)
1 box of (American) Neufchatel cheese (8 oz)
2 cans minced clams (13 oz total)
2 oz whole milk

Soften the cheese (I use a microwave, set on low). NOTE: When I first started making this dip, I used 16 oz cream cheese; if you use equal parts cream cheese and Neufchatel, you will get a less fattening–but less creamy–dip. You could use Neufchatel alone, but I don’t recommend it.

Whip the cheese until it is smooth. Add the milk a little at a time, continuing to whip the cheese. You should have a soft whipped cheese at this point, but something thicker in consistency than a dip.

Open and drain both cans of minced clam–reserving the liquidAdd the clams to the whipped cheese and combine. Now add 3-4 oz of the clam liquid, a little at a time. When you are finished, your dip may seem a little runny, but don’t worry. You will want to chill the dip for at least a half hour before serving, at which point it will thicken up considerably.

And what should you dip into your dip? Not your fingers, though some of my kids have been caught in the act. We pretty much insist on corn chips–not tortilla chips, but the other kind, and preferably the “scooping” variety.

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