Yesterday marked the first official day of Summer, so fire up the grill and bring out the burgers, hot dogs, and marinated chicken thighs! At our house, a patio picnic includes wavy potato chips and dip; New England clam dip that is. The days of buying clam dip at your local grocery store are long gone, but take heart because I have a very easy recipe for you. The post below was first published on July 10, 2017 and continues as this blog’s second most-viewed post of all time with 6981 hits to date.
An accoutrement staple of Summer backyard picnic dining is potato chips and dip. One of my family’s favorite chip dips used to be a New England clam dip manufactured by a local cheese company named “Heluva Good” of all things (see photo). For some reason, Heluva Good stopped making its clam dip in the early aughts (2000s). Some said it was in response to tightening FDA regulations.
Unable to purchase clam dip, my hankering grew and grew until I finally started searching online for a clam dip recipe that was similar to Heluva Good’s. I found the one below several years ago. It’s a pretty close facsimile and very easy to make. Any time we serve it to guests they always rave about it. I could eat a whole bowl of clam dip with wavy chips in a single sitting all by myself, but my arteries clog up at just the thought of it.
p.s. Heluva Good was headquartered in nearby Sodus N.Y. but was bought out by food conglomerate HP Hood in 2004 and like most things in New York, production was eventually moved out of state. It’s also interesting that the slang term, “one hell of a…” is used to connote something that’s either very good or very bad. The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms says the phrase (or “one Devil of a…”) has its roots in the second half of the 1700s.
Heluva Good New England Clam Dip Recipe
- 6.5 oz. can chopped clams
- 6.5 oz. can minced clams
- 8 oz. package Philadelphia brand cream cheese – allow to reach room temperature
- ½ tsp. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 and ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 dashes Red Hot or Tabasco sauce
- ¼ tsp. paprika
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- Drain clams, reserving ¼ cup clam broth. Put drained clams aside.
- Mix cream cheese with hand-held electric mixer until smooth while adding clam broth, garlic, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, paprika, salt, and black pepper.
- Add clams and mix together with a spoon or spatula.
- Cover and refrigerate for three hours
- Sprinkle the top with some additional paprika before serving.
Serve with Lay’s Wavy Potato Chips. Enjoy!