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Clam and Chive Dip with Pita Chips

Serves: Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cans (6½ ounces each) minced clams, drained, liquid reserved
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated or minced yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 pita bread rounds (white or whole wheat)


Procedures:

Right up there as one of the top retro classics for entertaining, there’s a certain timeless, comfort-food appeal to clam dip. Here, I’ve updated the classic with a big dose of chopped fresh chives, which adds bright flavor and color. I sometimes add chopped dill as well. This is one of the few times when canned clams, which couldn’t be more convenient, are a better choice than fresh.

Although you can serve the dip simply with crackers or really good potato chips, I like to add easy-to-make pita toasts for a change of pace. Choose the pocket-type of pita bread, rather than the thicker, more bread-like pita.
  1. Stir together the cream cheese, crème fraîche, and mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons of clam juice until smooth. Stir in the chives, lemon juice, onion, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. Fold in the clams. If the dip is too stiff, stir in a bit more of the clam juice. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.


  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.


  3. Cut each pita into 8 wedges and separate each wedge at the outer edge into 2 triangles. Arrange the triangles in an even layer on 2 baking sheets. Toast in the oven 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp. Switch the baking sheets once or twice so the pita toasts evenly. Set aside to cool.


  4. To serve, transfer the clam dip to a serving bowl, set it on a platter surrounded by the pita chips, and serve.

by Sur La Table & Renée Behnke

 
 
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