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Grilled Clams with Spicy Kölsch Cocktail Sauce

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Quick and easy to prepare—and fun to eat—this recipe is perfect for parties: Your guests can snack on the clams straight from the grill. You’ll have more cocktail sauce than needed for 24 clams, but covered tightly and refrigerated, the sauce will last about a week—just give it a good stir before use. You can also spoon it over cream cheese and serve it as a spread with crackers and celery; thin it out with tomato juice to make the best Bloody Mary mix you’ve ever tasted; mix it into meatloaf; use it in place of ketchup on a burger; or fold a few tablespoons into a cup of mayonnaise for a zesty sandwich spread.

Makes: 4-6 servings

  • 24 littleneck clams
  • 13 cup finely diced red onion
  • 12 cup ketchup
  • 12 cup Heinz chili sauce
  • 14 cup prepared horseradish
  • (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (or to taste)
  • 14 cup kölsch
  • 112 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 12 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce salt
  • fresh-ground black pepper


1. Scrub the clams, then place them in a bowl of cool, heavily salted water. Let them soak for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour to encour- age them to discharge the sand from inside their shells. One by one, lift the clams from the bowl and rinse. Discard any that have cracked shells or do not stay closed when tapped; those are spoiled. Place the remaining clams in the refrigerator until ready to use.

2. Prepare the grill and heat it to medium-high.

3. Place the onion, ketchup, chili sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, kölsch, lime juice and Worcestershire into a blender and puree until slightly smooth. Taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper as needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

4. Place the clams on the grill in a single layer and cook without moving or turning. They will open gradually over the course of 6 to 10 minutes. As each clam opens wide, carefully transfer it to a platter without spilling any of its liquid. Discard any clams that do not open; those are spoiled.

5. Spoon about 1⁄4 teaspoon of sauce into each clam and serve immediately.


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