Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dan in the Kitchen -- Creamed Spinach

Dan's back in the kitchen folks, and this time he's making creamed spinach for a cozy little dinner party. As my "sous-chef", he technically had a hand in every other dish served -- shredding cheese for the mac n' cheese, mashing potatoes for the garlic mashed potatoes, etc. -- but this was the dish that he was entirely responsible for from start to finish. I actually wanted to put him in charge of cooking the pork ribs, but he said that was more of a "Tina in the Kitchen" endeavor. Oh well. Next time...

Creamed spinach is one of our favorite steakhouse sides -- it's creamy, savory, and super delicious. But, considering how cheap the ingredients are and how easy it is to make, especially if you're using pre-cooked/chopped frozen spinach, it's kind of a rip off that most restaurants charge $7 for a bowl of the stuff.  

All you have to do is saute some garlic in butter, dump cooked/chopped spinach into the pot, add cream, stir, season, and let the whole thing simmer into perfection. 

Voila, creamed spinach! So easy, a caveman -- or, an inexperienced cook who needs very exact, step-by-step instructions** -- can do it. 

** Based on suggestions from numerous people, I showed Dan the "Cooking for Engineers" blog. Unsurprisingly, he found the cooking flowcharts to be incredibly logical and understandable. We'll definitely have to start using recipes from that blog!

Creamed Spinach (Adapted from Emeril Lagasse's recipe)

- 1 package frozen pre-cooked/chopped spinach, thawed
- 1 cup cream
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- A pinch of nutmeg
- Salt/pepper to taste

(1) In a pot, melt butter on medium heat.
(2) Add minced garlic, cook until lightly soft and fragrant, about a minute.
(3) Scoop all the spinach into the pot, and stir to allow the greens to soak up the garlicky butter, as well as break up any lumps in the spinach. Cook until liquid is released.
(4) Add cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook until the liquid has reduced to approximately half the original amount, about 4-5 minutes.
** Seasoning note from Dan -- if you're adding salt straight from the canister, do so with a gentle side to side shaking motion rather than a down-up pouring motion. This will help you control the speed at which salt is added, as well as the amount of salt that goes into the dish. Gently shake a little salt over every part of the pot, stir, and taste. If it's not salty enough, add more.
(5) Remove from heat and serve right away.
** Since this dish comes together so quickly, it's best to make it last so that it doesn't just sit around and congeal while the other food is being cooked. 


Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

kick up the nutty flavor with some Parmesan cheese!!!

Wonderful post. Creamed spinach has rapidly become a favorite of mine (long way from whatI thought of as a child)!

Great post, love all the details

Bob said...

How is there not a "Dan in the kitchen" tag?

Tina said...

Good point, Bob ;)

Anonymous said...

I like Dan's seasoning tip.