Before my friend Keri and her now husband, Andrew moved to Nantucket, they lived with me for a few months. This was at least 7 or 8 years ago, when I lived in Winthrop, MA, a tiny town just past East Boston, completely surrounded by water and with views and sounds of jets taking off at Logan Airport. We got so used to the sound, a constant hum that was like white noise in the background, that when the planes occasionally changed their flight patterns, the silence seemed strange. When I first told my grandparents I was moving to Winthrop, which was my first big move off Cape Cod and into the big city of Boston, they were thrilled. Relieved actually. They knew Winthrop well and kept a boat at the Winthrop Yacht club for something like twenty years. My grandfather said there was no crime in Winthrop, "There's only two ways in or out of town. Anything happens, they just block you in." He was right.
So, for the few months that Keri and Andrew stayed with me, we had mostly opposite schedules. I worked days at my office job, and they worked nights. Keri was a server at the Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons and Andrew was a chef at several places. We usually had Monday nights off together, Monday's being generally slow restaurant nights. If Andrew didn't cook something amazing for us, such as mashed potatoes with many sticks of butter, sour cream, and blue cheese folded in, then we'd often sit in the kitchen, playing cards--usually pitch, drinking wine and snacking.
One of our favorite snacks, that we'd sometimes eat instead of dinner, was Andrew's clam dip. He'd make a big batch, then Keri would fill little individual bowls for each of us, and put a huge platter of chips in the middle of the table. More often than not, we'd sip Woodbridge Chardonnay, an inexpensive white that went so well with this dip. The first time he made it, I wasn't sure I'd like it. The idea of clam dip just didn' t carry much appeal as I'd had one once that was too clammy. This was different. One bite, and I swooned. It's the perfect balance of rich cream cheese, sour cream, bits of minced clam and a dash of hot sauce and worcestershire. It's best when you mix it up, then let it chill for 20-30 minutes. Enjoy!
Andrew's Clam Dip
- 2 small packages (6 ounces total) cream cheese
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 small clove of garlic, crushed and finely minced
- 1 can (7 oz) minced clams, drained
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- dash ground cayenne pepper or hot pepper sauce (or both)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, and garlic together until smooth. Add minced clams and blend in with remaining seasonings. Chill thoroughly. Serve with chips, I like Cape Cod Reduced Fat the best, they're crispy but not as greasy.