Retro Clam Dip was once a famous dip served with either salty Ruffle chips or veggies at some of the swankiest parties you can think of from the ’50s, up till it managed to die off sometime during the ’70s. The original Clam Dip recipe from the Kraft Music Hall show was made with simple ingredients such as minced canned clams, cream cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Picture this, the decade is the 50’s in New York, a Sheath dress, topped with a cropped bolero jacket was the fashion among younger women, and TVs had dials, not remotes, radio shows were popular. Many fans tuned into the New York’s Kraft Music Hall show, where on one fateful night, the show would air a recipe for “Clam Dip” within 24 hours. That recipe would cause stores everywhere in the listening distance to a sellout of tins of clams. Can you believe it?
Today, I decided to bring a Sexy little back, have a little fun, and enjoy a recipe that was so popular at one time they made mass quantities of manufactured Clam Dip to sell at local markets around the country. I don’t know about you, but when a recipe becomes a hit that big with people for 20 years, I need to try it out with the family and friends immediately to see what all the fuss was over back in the day.
I have to be honest. I’ve never purchased a tin of clams in my life before the other day. We always make freshly steamed claims when recipes call for claims. However, I felt the need to replicate the recipe as much as possible to form an honest opinion on this retro recipe. So down the Tuna fish and tinned meat aisle, I headed to my local market. There were only two brands to choose from, so I crossed my fingers as I made my decision to pick up two tins of clams, humming Justin Timberlake’s song “Sexy Back.”
Organic Veggies of all types were going to be drowned in this Retro Clam Dip, so of course, I picked up organic rainbow carrots, grape tomatoes, spring onions, radishes, celery, and so forth. Heck, for shits and giggles, I even bought some kettle chips to dip in this Retro concoction. I know, I know Ruffles were what they used back in the day. Please forgive me for my Kettle Chip fetish; I can’t help myself.
After picking up my shopping list, I headed home to whip up a batch of this Clam Dip. I won’t lie. I made a few minor changes to add more Southern character and flavor to the Clam Dip. I surprised my significant other and close friends tonight. You will find that the additions will be marked optional in the recipe card below if you’d instead not add additional ingredients.
Retro Clam Dip
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 1-8- ounce Can minced clams, drained, 1/4 of clam juice reserved
- 1-8- ounce Cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup Finely chopped parsley optional
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 dash Hot sauce optional
- ½ teaspoon Cajun Seasoning optional
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Combine diced clams, softened cream cheese, chopped parsley, fresh lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, a dash of hot sauce, Cajun Seasoning, and pepper to taste, stirring until well blended. Add the reserved clam juice to reach desired consistency.
- Place in a plastic lidded container; refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Fresh steam claims may be added to replace the tinned clams.
- The Parsley may be omitted as it was not used in the original recipe
- The Cajun seasoning may be replaced with salt if desired.
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