Football season is in full swing and I realize that I have yet to post some couch potato indulgences. My bad, but I promise that this recipe will make up for EVERYTHING.
If you like baked clams then you’ll love Baked Clam Dip (or more precisely, Carol Goldman’s Baked Clam Dip) which is really just baked clams on steroids. This dish has been my absolute favorite ever since our friend Carol Goldman started bringing it to apres-ski at Evergreen. Have I told you about Evergreen? Evergreen was the ski house that my family shared with the Sobels, our best friends in the whole wide world. If you visited Evergreen (as many, many people have) then you know that we would have had to be “best friends in the whole wide world” to share this house because it wasn’t as grand or sprawling as the name might suggest. Evergreen is located in Wilmington, VT right down the road from Mt. Snow where we all learned to ski and became part of the greater family that was the Mt. Snow Ski Club. Our house had three floors, the top containing two master bedrooms and a shared bathroom, the bottom being the kids’ zone with two bedrooms, each with four built-in bunks. Three girls in one room, three boys in the other–but of course, we each would bring a friend or two and the chaos that ensued was just “normal.” The main floor was our living area where memories were made. Hours spent hanging around on the couch, carpet and reclining chairs. The wood burning stove always raging with 20+ ski boots jockeying for position around its base. For 17 years, we spent fall, winter and even some spring weekends together in this house and celebrated countless holidays. Still to this day, some of my biggest belly laughs come from recollections of these years–and thankfully when we all get together (sadly, more often over email vs. in person) the dynamic is unchanged and the hysteria continues.
But back to the Baked Clam Dip…when Carol started bringing this around I’d be waiting by the oven to be the first to dig in. I couldn’t risk it disappearing before I had my fill. Now when I make it for just my family, I have to slow myself down with the assurance that I will still get another bite in five minutes time. The recipe couldn’t be more simple and if you keep a couple of cans of chopped clams in your pantry you can make it on a whim. Enjoy!
- 1/4 lb butter (or if your willing to sacrifice some richness, a couple of Tbls of olive oil works fine)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 3 6.5 oz cans chopped clams with juice
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2-4 shakes Tabasco
- 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 c Italian bread crumbs
- 1/4 c Parmesan cheese, grated
- sliced Mozzarella cheese, for topping
- sliced ciabatta or other Italian bread/baguette, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Melt butter (or heat oil) on stovetop over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and sauté until translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and oregano and sauté for a minute or two more.
- Add the clams (with juice), lemon juice, Tabasco, cayenne, bread crumbs and Parmesan. Stir until combined.
- Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish with sides (ideally 6"-8" width) and top with mozzarella.
- Bake in oven until cheese is bubbly, around 15 minutes.
- Broil for the last couple of minutes to brown the cheese but don't walk away from your broiler!
- Serve with sliced bread and a spoon for scooping.