Mom's Top of the Stairs Clam Dip

  • Rating ****

about 1 1/2 cups

My mom and dad entertained a lot during the course of my childhood. This dip is a taste from those evenings when the lights were low, the women wore cocktail dresses, and everyone drank martinis and Manhattans. Mom would make the dip in the morning, promising my brothers and me that we could have a small bowl of it with some potato chips if we stayed upstairs during the party. (It's also good with pita chips.) Years later, my daughter is serving this dip to rave reviews!


  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (8 ounces) chopped clams, drained and juice reserved
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • 1 scallion (white and tender green parts), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


In a medium-size bowl, beat together the cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of the reserved clam juice, and the garlic, scallion, mayonnaise, Worcestershire and anchovy paste until smooth. Fold in the clams, stirring to blend.

Diva Do-Ahead: At this point, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 8 hours to let the flavors develop.

Remove the dip from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving. If it is a bit stiff, thin it with a little more of the clam juice or some milk, and garnish with parsley.

Excerpted from Perfect Party Food, by Diane Phillips. Copyright 2005, used by permission from The Harvard Common Press

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harvard Common Press. All rights reserved.

RecID 11110

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