Monday, January 24, 2011
Creamy Dreamy Creamed Spinach
It's not often that something extraordinarily healthy can be turned into something so genuinely terrible for you in just a few short moments. Creamed spinach is one such case.
You start with a big, beautiful bunch of spinach leaves and cook it down in a creamy sauce flavored with onions, garlic, and parmesan cheese. And, well, that's pretty much it. Creamed spinach is a luxurious treat that's ready in a flash and an elegant accompaniment to to even the drabbest of Monday night meals of the weekend leftovers. So, just for a night, don't listen to what your mind is saying (which is probably something like, "There's butter, cream, and cheese in there?! Are you nuts?!") and don't follow your heart (which is definitely saying, "HEART ATTACK ON A PLATE!!"). Put aside your better judgment and enjoy the sinful simplicity of something delicious.
Serves 2-3 as a side dish
Loosely adapted from Ree Drummond
1 bunch of spinach leaves, stems removed and rinsed well
3 tablespoons of butter
1/2 a yellow onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
Scant tablespoon of flour
1/2 half and half
1/2 cup milk (may need more if the sauce is too thick)
About 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated (optional, and to taste)
Pinch of nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat butter in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
Sprinkle flour over the butter and onions, whisking to combine to create a roux. Slowly add half and half and milk, whisking into the roux. Add parmesan cheese and stir to melt. Stir in nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the sauce is thickened, 2-3 minutes.
Add spinach leaves, tearing the larger leaves in half. Coat the leaves with the cream sauce and cook down, stirring frequently, until the spinach is soft and cooked but not soggy, about five minutes. Serve with a sprinkling of kosher salt.