Election night eats: Make clam chowder, hot dogs, more

It doesn't matter which side you're on, everyone can agree that today's the perfect time to throw a patriotic party. Here, Martha Stewart Living director Lucinda Scala Quinn shows you how to make spinach-artichoke dip, Chicago-style hot dogs and New England clam chowder.

Chicago hot dog
Servings:

Makes 4 dogs

Ingredients

    • 2 cups water
    • 2 dozen cherrystone, littleneck or small quahog clams, scrubbed (2 cups clam meat)
    • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
    • 2 slices bacon, chopped
    • 1 small white onion, chopped
    • 1 1/2 celery stalks, tough fibers removed, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch pieces
    • 2 stems fresh thyme
    • 1 fresh bay leaf
    • 9 whole black peppercorns
    • 2 small russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
    • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
    • Coarse salt

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Brush the outside of the buns with butter. Sprinkle over poppy seeds. Cook in the oven, cut side down for 5 minutes. Simmer the hot dogs to heat through, 5 minutes.Place a hot dog into each bun. Place a pickle spear on one side of the bun and two tomato wedges on the other. Squirt the mustard in a zigzag pattern over each dog. Spoon a dollop of relish onto each and scatter the white onion all over. Place a pepper on top of each hot dog. Sprinkle with celery salt and serve.

Spinach-artichoke dip
Servings:

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

    • 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts in water, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
    • 4 ounces reduced-fat bar cream cheese
    • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 small garlic clove, chopped
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 2 scallions, sliced
    • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
    • Raw vegetables, such as bell-pepper wedges, carrot slices and cauliflower florets, for dipping

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Place half the artichokes in a food processor; add cream cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, cayenne and 3 tablespoons water. Process until smooth.Add scallions, remaining artichokes and spinach; pulse briefly. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl. (To store, refrigerate, up to 2 days.) Top with 1 tablespoon Parmesan, and serve dip with raw vegetables.

New England clam chowder
Servings:

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

    • 2 cups water
    • 2 dozen cherrystone, littleneck or small quahog clams, scrubbed (2 cups clam meat)
    • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
    • 2 slices bacon, chopped
    • 1 small white onion, chopped
    • 1 1/2 celery stalks, tough fibers removed, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch pieces
    • 2 stems fresh thyme
    • 1 fresh bay leaf
    • 9 whole black peppercorns
    • 2 small russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
    • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
    • Coarse salt

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add clams, cover and cook until shells open, about 10 minutes. Transfer clams to a large bowl, reserving cooking liquid. Discard any clams that do not open. Remove meat from shells and return to bowl. Discard shells. Pour reserved liquid through a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth into a large bowl (you should have 2 1/2 cups). Sprinkle a few tablespoons liquid over clams to keep them moist.Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add bacon, and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Pour off excess drippings, leaving just enough to coat bottom of pot. Add onion and celery, and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.Wrap thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns in a piece of cheesecloth, and tie with kitchen string. Place cheesecloth in pot, and add potatoes and 2 1/2 cups reserved clam broth. Simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender, 5 to 7 minutes.Chop clams. Add clams and half-and-half to pot, and heat until just warmed through, about 1 minute. Discard cheesecloth, and season with salt. Serve immediately.

Serving Directions:

Some clams are naturally salty, so taste the soup before adding salt. The soup can be made a day in advance through step 3 and refrigerated overnight.

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