One of my favorite kitchen treasures is my mother's hand-written cookbook. My mother was a wonderful cook and I had this idea that I would add all her recipes to my food blog for family and friends. After reading through each recipe, I realized that so many of them were outdated. My version of her hot clam dip transforms raw onions into caramelized deliciousness. The fat content is reduced and a toasted crust adds an additional layer of texture and flavor. —SwoonMySpoon
finely chopped onion
cottage cheese (whole or 2%)
1 - 10 ounces
can of “fancy whole baby clams” (should yield 5 ounces of clams drained), juice reserved
reserved clam juice
Panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
almonds or walnuts or a combination, roughly chopped
To caramelize the onions:
In a medium size pan, melt the butter. If the butter doesn’t coat the bottom of the pan, add a bit more. Add the onions and toss to coat with the butter. Add a generous pinch of salt. This will draw out the moisture and help them caramelize. Stir frequently and cook over medium-low heat until they are a beautiful caramel color. Remove from heat and set aside.
To make the dip:
While the onions are caramelizing, in a mixer, blend the cream cheese and cottage cheese with 1 teaspoon of the reserved clam juice and worcestershire sauce until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of the minced chives, 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest, and the caramelized onions, and mix until incorporated. Gently fold in the clams. Season with salt to taste, and then transfer to an ovenproof container.
To make the topping and finish the dip:
In a small bowl, mix the Panko, almonds, remaining chives and lemon zest, and pinch of salt.
In the same pan where you cooked the onions, melt 1 teaspoon butter. Add the the Panko mixture and stir to lightly coat the mixture. It will still appear dry. Taste the mixture. It should be delicious on its own. Add additional chives, lemon zest, salt to taste.
Distribute the Panko mixture evenly on top of the dip, and bake for 15-20 minutes on a baking sheet, or until hot and bubbling around the edges. Cool slightly before serving.
Serve with crostini, crackers, or chips. Don’t forget the bubbly or beer!