Clam Dip Redemption
January 26, 2007

For our last book club meeting I made dip. Not just your average onion soup mix dip or anything either. It was something I saw Rachael Ray make, and it actually sounded pretty good so I gave it a shot. Upon tasting the finished product, it wasn't as good as it had the potential to be. It wasn't BAD per se, but off somehow. It didn't help that it was an unappetizing gray color. I took it to the meeting anyways. The gals confirmed that it was indeed off...maybe too sweet and not salty enough? Something that could probably be taken care of with a few adjustments if I decided to make it again (which I most likely will not).

So now I was tasked with redeeming myself dip-wise. We had another book club meeting last night, and I decided my only option was clam dip. Yes, I know it sounds weird. Let me tell you something about clam dip. My Favorite Cousin makes this dip for pretty much every get together we have at her house. And if she doesn't make it, riots break out. If she does make it you can guarantee that at any given time during the party there will be at least 3 people hovering over the bowl of clam dip with chip in hand.

The secret to the clam dip? Cream cheese. So when I went grocery shopping, I thought I'd attempt to lighten up this old classic by using a combination of 1/3 less fat cream cheese and fat free cream cheese. Have you ever bought the fat free stuff? I hesitate to even call it cream cheese. The texture is wrong, the taste is appalling, and ew. Just EW. Thank god I didn't try to go completely fat free, that would have been a disaster, but I DIGRESS.

So I managed to rescue my cream cheese error with a healthy dose of lemon juice, green onions, and garlic salt. I even busted out the hand mixer to make sure everything was incorporated well. I did a quick taste test, and it passed my strict standards for dip, but I wasn't sure how the gals would take to it.

Just in case, I had bought some hummus to bring along with the clam dip. If it didn't get a warm reception, at least we had an alternate chip and dip combination. By then end of the evening, hardly anyone had touched the hummus, but a good portion of the clam dip was gone. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! If there had been full attendance at book club last night, I doubt there wouldn't have been any clam dip for me to bring home, but I'm kind of glad there was.

Clam Dip

1 can minced clams
juice of one small lemon
1 green onion, minced
1 TBSP mayo
8oz package cream cheese (room temperature)
garlic salt to taste

Mix everything together and serve with your favorite potato chips (something sturdy like Ruffles are good).
I sometimes mix the cream cheese, mayo and garlic salt with a hand mixer, and then fold in the rest of the ingredients.



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© Whitney Brandt-Hiatt: All writing, images, and photogrpahy are the property of Whitney Brandt-Hiatt unless otherwise noted.