Sunday, March 20, 2011

Creamed Spinach, a love story

I do not like the phrase "creamed spinach." It reminds me of the phrase "creamed corn," which for some reason reminds me of my Grammie's kitchen, which was not a pleasant place. Grammie was a good cook, I think. At least, that's how the stories go. I wouldn't know, because I was never allowed to eat anything that came out of her kitchen. Gram was a depression era mother of six with an addiction to coupons, so suffice to say things piled up, and lingered in that kitchen far, far longer than safety probably dictated. Most of my memories surrounding Grammie's fridge involve mold, yogurt cups containing substances that clearly were not yogurt, and a vague sense of impending doom.

So, based on these dubious associations, I managed to go a full twenty five years without once tasting creamed spinach. And now that I've finally tried it - lord, how I mourn all those empty years!

Doom-filled memories aside, it's actually kind of surprising that I'd never tried this stuff before. It has most of my favorite things - spinach! cream! butter! garlic! - all in one decadent, smooth place. The first time Jesse made it, I ate 2/3 of the pan before touching the rest of my meal. The second and third times Jesse made it, he didn't even get any. This was after I drove to the store specifically to buy frozen spinach - which, if you know me at all, you know is in and of itself indicitave of my lust for this stuff. I rarely buy frozen vegetables, and I hate making special trips just for one ingredient. But this week? Twice.

 Creamed Spinach
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
This is also really good cold, preferably eaten standing in front of the fridge, with your fingers.

~ 2 lbs spinach, chopped roughly
~ 1 small onion, finely chopped
~ 1 clove garlic, minced
~ 1 1/2 cup whole milk
~ 3 tablespoons butter
~ 3 tablespoons flour
~ worcestershire sauce
Steam spinach until just wilted, then squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Set aside.
Warm the milk gently in a little saucepan and keep it warm.
In a sauce pan or dutch oven, brown up the onion and garlic in the butter until nice and soft and sweet.
Whisk in the flour to make a roux.
Add warm milk and whisk smooth.
Add a dash of worcestershire, taste, and add more as needed for awesomeness (you want it subtle!)
Cook 3-5 minutes until a bit thicker.
Stir in spinach and salt and pepper to taste.

This is great as a side dish, but also beautiful over orzo or as a bed for a poached egg. Or, as I said, cold, from the fridge, with your fingers.

~Ashby

2 comments:

  1. o man o man o man! WHY haven't i thought of making this myself?!?! I am freaking out a little right now...I will have to add this to the recipe list for next week!

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  2. Dude, it is sooooo good. It also works really well with chard.

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