Grilled Clams with Spicy Kölsch Cocktail Sauce

Recipe by Brian Adornetto

Serves: 4-6 servings


  • 24 littleneck clams
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Heinz chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
  • (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup kölsch
  • 11/2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 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.