30 January, 2010

Fishy Delights 28: Bar Harbor Whole Maine Cherrystone Clams

Good canned clams are an essential in my kitchen. As long as I have them handy, I can make up a quick batch of clam chowder, or some mouthwatering buttery seafood stuffing, or some tasty clam dip. I particularly like Bar Harbor Whole Maine Cherrystone Clams - the quality is superb, and as a special bonus they're a New England product (buying locally-produced foods is important to me.)

Unlike some other brands' canned "baby clams," which are as small as a dime and come from who-knows-where, Bar Harbor whole cherrystones are decent-sized, all-natural bivalve meats, plump and briney and taken from the cold waters of the North Atlantic off the Maine coast.

Have you ever made your own clam dip? Homemade dip is way better than the premade stuff you find in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, and with a can of these clams you're halfway there.

Dave's Clam Dip

1 can (6½ ounces) Bar Harbor Whole Maine Cherrystone Clams, drained, reserve the broth.
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix
1 teaspoon McCormick Worcesterchire Ground Black Pepper Blend
1/2 teaspoon good Hungarian paprika

Blend the cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of the reserved clam broth until the cheese is the correct consistency for dip. If the mixture is too thick, add more clam broth a tiny bit at a time until the proper consistency is reached. Stir in the sour cream, Ranch Dip mix, Worcestershire pepper blend, and paprika and stir until well-combined. Chop the clams roughly and stir them into the dip. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to blend and bring out the delicious clam flavor.

Now, this recipe will result in some leftover clam juice. Lucky for you that the very best Bloody Marys are made with clam juice. Tomato juice with clam juice added to taste (I like about a 70/30 blend) with a shot of Tabasco sauce, a spoonful of fresh horseradish stirred in, and spiked with a good dose of vodka. Awesome.


zoe p. said...

I adore canned clams - essential also for a 20 minute dish of linguini and clam sauce. Where do you find these Bar Harbor Canned Cherrystones?

Dave said...

If you go to Bar Harbor Foods' website [click here] you will find a store locator that can help you find them close to you.

Alan said...

I never saw this post, from way back. Reason I stopped here is because I miss good clam dip. I grew up along the coast and have always loved clam dip. Lots of folks have their own recipe, but I was adicted to Heluva Good Clam Dip. I could never duplicate their mix. Anyway, seems there was some difficult government regulation passed the forced the company, among others, to discontinue making clam dip. It's virtually unavailable now, from any company. Thank Goodness the government is there to save us from clam dip.
I'll have to give your recipe a try, Dave.

Alan said...

I got posted as "unknown" above. Anyway, I tried making this today; albeit I couldn't get Bar Harbor baby clams so I subbed Geisha baby clams. I have to take my hat off to you Dave. I've tried all the family clam dip recipes, and finally, FINALLY, this one lives up to the name. What a great recipe for those of us deprived of commercial dips now-a-days.