The first Christmas I celebrated with Yolanda’s family in California was in stark contrast to the big overeating events of my Italian family’s holiday affair. There was no Feast of the Seven Fishes, not a lasagna or a meatball in sight. I don’t even remember the main course (probably turkey, according to Yolanda), but the thing I do recall was the clam dip served with ridged potato chips as a cocktail appetizer. Champagne was the drink of choice.
The dip is a creamy clam fest of deliciousness with a satisfying tartness from the lemon. And with the salty, crunchy chips, washed down with Champagne, each bite is absolute heaven. We still enjoy it on Christmas Day, just the way it is, but if you prefer a brinier flavor, you can add more clams, up to an additional tin’s worth.
Craving more kitchen adventures with Matt? Dive into A Man & His Kitchen here.
Other Party Appetizer Ideas To Try:
Edwards Family Christmas Clam Dip
- 2 6½-oz
185 g tins chopped clams, drained, juice reserved
- 8 oz 225 g package cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup 60 g sour cream
- juice of ½ lemon
- a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- garlic powder
- coarse salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- minced chives, for garnish
- potato chips, for serving (something sturdy that can stand up to the dip, like Ruffles)
- Using a flexible spatula, combine the clams and half of the reserved juice (about ¼ cup/60 ml), the cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire, cayenne, and garlic powder to taste in a serving bowl. Season with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to a day or two.
- Garnish with chives, and serve with chips.
Excerpted from A Man & His Kitchen by Matt Hranek (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2023.