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Thanksgiving Spicy Bar-B-Q Turkey Rub and a Creamy Clam Dip

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Thanksgiving is almost here and I am so excited; it’s my favorite day of the year.  It’s the time when families and friends come together to recreate their traditional family recipes.  It’s the holiday where cooking is everything!

Every year my family INSISTS that I make two of their favorite recipes; our traditional Creamy Clam Dip and my not so traditional turkey cooked on the grill with my Spicy Bar-B-Q Turkey Rub.  I have been making these recipes for so long that they have become our family’s tradition.

So, for all of you that are lucky enough to be able to bar-b-q all year round, this one’s for you!!

I hope you enjoy my recipes as much as my family does.  Just a reminder the turkey can be rather spicy, so hold onto your boot straps and here we go!!

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Spicy Bar-B-Q Turkey Rub

Ingredient List:
White Sugar …………………………..1 cup
Kosher Salt ………………………….1/2 cup
Onion Powder …………………….1/4 cup
Garlic Powder ……………………..1/4 cup
Cayenne …………………………………..3 tsp for spicy (1 tsp for mild or 2 tsp for medium)
Paprika …………………………………1/4 cup
Black Pepper ………………………..1/2 cup

Rub Instructions: (Before preparing the rub, preheat your bar-b-q by setting all burners on high with the lid closed.)
Place all of the above ingredients into a gallon size Zip-Lock Plastic Bag. Seal the bag and shake until blended well.

Turkey Prep:
Pick a pan large enough to fit your turkey, but still able to fit inside your bar-b-q grill. Set a V-rack inside the pan and spray everything with Pam Spray. For easier clean up you can line the pan with foil.

Rinse your turkey well and don’t forget to remove the bag from inside the turkey! Blot dry with paper towel and place it on a V-rack, breast side up. Liberally spread the rub on the turkey, pushing the ingredients into the skin.

Cooking Instructions:
Now it’s time to cook your bird! We will be utilizing an indirect heat cooking method to insure that your turkey will be the juiciest and most tender bird ever. Place the pan onto the grill, close the lid and turn off the burners that are directly under your turkey. Warning, this next step may be hard on you, but it’s time to forget everything you have ever learned about cooking a turkey and just trust me – “No more timing your bird.”

Instead, what you are going to do is check your bird every hour or so to make sure that it is blackening evenly. If it is not, then rotate your pan to move the more blacken side of the bird away from the flaming burners. You are also going to gently tug on one of the turkey legs. You will know when the turkey is done, when you are able to pull off the leg with little to no effort. When the leg pops off, it’s done!

Now remove the turkey from the grill and let it stand for 20 minutes before carving and serving. This turkey may not be the prettiest you have ever seen, but it sure will be the tastiest you will ever eat!

In our recipe, we used a 12 lb. turkey (it took a little under 3 hours to cook) and we had plenty of rub leftover for future projects. This rub is super tasty on chicken, fish and especially on shrimp. It’s a YUMMY addition to any recipe!!

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Creamy Clam Dip

Ingredient List:
Cream Cheese ………………………..8 oz (Soften to room temperature)
Olive Oil Mayonnaise …………1/3 cup
Lemon Juice ……………………………2 tsp
Worcestershire Sauce ……………1 tbsp
Canned Minced Clams ………..6.5 oz (Drained)
White Onion ……………………..1 1/2 tbsp (Finely grated with juice)
Salt ………………………………………..1/2 tsp or to taste
Black Pepper ………………………..1/2 tsp or to taste
Paprika …………………………………Sprinkle , just before serving for color

Dip Prep: (Make the dip while the turkey is cooking)
One hour before making the dip remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator.  Allow it to soften until it reaches room temperature.

Dip Instructions: (Hand mix or use a food processor with a blending paddle)
Lay the soften cream cheese onto a plate and mash it with a fork.
Add your mayonnaise, lemon juice and Worcestershire Sauce.  Open your can of minced clams and drain out the excess juice into your sink.  Now, add the clams to your mixture. Hand blend it together until it is well mixed.

Next, finely grate white onion, making sure to capture the juice. Stir the grated onion, juice and all, into your mixture.  Add salt and pepper to taste (we used 1/2 tsp of each during our process).

Serving Instructions:
If you have the time, let the dip sit to allow the flavors to marinate.  Once ready to serve, stir it one more time, place it in a serving bowl and lightly sprinkle paprika to add a touch of color.

Serve it with your favorite potato chips, pita triangle or sliced veggies.  So yummy!

I dedicate this post to my father, LeRoy Nelson, who showed me how to make this delicious Creamy Clam Dip when I was just a little girl.  I miss spending time in the kitchen with my dad, who passed away in June of 2015. ♥♥♥
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