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Monday, July 26, 2021

Creamed Spinach Recipe

Good creamed spinach is a life-changing revelation. Here’s how to make it so you won’t have to reserve it for steakhouse dinners and holiday feasts.

tips for a tasty creamed spinach:

  • Yes you can use whole milk instead of half and half (go any less fatty and you’re not going to like the results)
  • You can also go the opposite way and use heavy cream. Your taste buds will love me, your jeans may not but hey it is the holidays!
  • If you’d prefer to use frozen spinach, just defrost and squeeze out as much water as you can. – Use 1 pound of frozen spinach.
  • Nutmeg may seem like a dessert spice but you’ll love the flavor in this recipe.
  • Aside from the classic Morton’s recipe I’ve added cream cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

1 stick butter

8 tbsp. flour

1/2 whole medium onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 c. milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 pinch ground nutmeg

3 tbsp. butter

24 oz. weight baby spinach.

The right way this creamed begins with a simple white sauce, which begins with a roux, which is a cooked mixture of butter and flour, which is the basis of a cream sauce, which, when bumped up a notch by finely diced onions and garlic, is one of the best things you’ll ever learn to make it.

Begin with 24 ounces of baby spinach washed and ready, then use four 6-ounce bags. That’s…uh…24 ounces.

You’ll need one smallish yellow onion.

Cut it in half, then halve one of the halves.

First make vertical slices very close together… Then rotate it and cut the other way to dice it.

You’ll need garlic, very finely mince about three cloves if you can HANDLE the garlic.

You’ll need two pots: one for the cream sauce, one for the spinach.

Throw 1 stick of butter into one of the pans over medium to medium-low heat, depending on how hot your stove is. My stove is hot, and these cast iron enameled pans get VERY hot. So I’m on medium-low here.

Melt the butter, then sprinkle in 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour.

Immediately begin whisking.

Cook this mixture, stirring frequently, for about five minutes.

Slowly, the roux will start to turn golden brown.

At this point, throw in the onions and garlic.

Stir together to combine and cook for another minute.

Then slowly pour in 2 cups of milk, whisking constantly.

Now just cook the sauce for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. It’ll gradually begin to thicken.

Meantime, you need to sauté the spinach. If you have a kid, make him or her whisk the sauce while you do the spinach. That’s why we gave birth to these numskulls, isn’t it?

Throw a few tablespoons of butter into a separate pot and let it melt.

Throw in as much of the spinach as you can. It might not all fit, but believe me, what’s in the pot will quickly begin to wilt and shrink. I added the total amount of spinach over three different additions. As soon as the level of spinach shrank a bit, I’d dump in more.

Man, do I love spinach. It’s just so…so…

If I said “green” would you hate me?

Slowly cook the spinach. It’ll move slowly at first, but once it starts to wilt it really picks up speed. Stir gently as it cooks, flipping it to get it to cook evenly.

You want to stop cooking the spinach when it’s completely wilted but NOT mushy and overcooked. Grab a leaf from the pan. It should be cooked and wilted, but still have a tiny bit of crunch to it. Hard to explain. You’ll understand when you experience it.

Back to the white sauce, it’s very, very thick right now, and almost resembles white gravy.

Add salt and plenty of finely ground black pepper. You can also add a couple of pinches of ground nutmeg, which I love.

Guess who took this shot? My nine-year-old daughter. I think it might have been an accident…but what an in-focus accident it was!

Now just spoon the spinach into the cream sauce.

Stir it gently, slowly incorporating the spinach and cream sauce, taking bites along the way because you absolutely can’t wait. Like, no one could PAY you to wait.

You always want to taste it before the very end anyway, adding more seasonings as needed. A little cayenne never hurt anyone, either.

Now, let me point out that you can add more sautéed spinach to the mix if you like things a little less creamy. But I’ll just tell you that as cream-laden as this looks, the balance really is perfect. Keep in mind that spinach does have quite a bit of flavor and texture, so the cream really does balance it out. Experiment, though, and find your perfect ratio.

Now serve it, and bon Appetit !

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