Every cook probably has a few safety nets in their repertoire: the recipe that’s easy and reliable and always welcome around the table, like a close friend you can always count on when you’re in a pinch.
If you have frozen spinach in your freezer, a few eggs, milk, mayo and parmesan, you can make this when those unexpected guests show up and don’t seem to be leaving as dinner gets closer or keep it for special guests. I do both.
This one has been in our family for years and almost everyone can make it. As a bonus, it’s a way to get spinach into some people who might otherwise resist. Okay, it’s spinach and it's nice and garlicky, so the claim doesn’t always extend to small children.
Of all my dishes, this is the recipe I am asked for most often. It looks good on the table, on the plate and reheats beautifully. Have I mentioned it’s easy and inexpensive?
Because you are all my friends, I will spare you the photos of a giant lump of cooked spinach.
Well, then, Ladies and Gents, I give you Spinach Soufflé (aka Spinach Casserole)
I always double this and sometimes triple it
2 packages frozen spinach, cooked and drained
1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 ½ tablespoons flour
½ cup milk
½ cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon ground pepper - or to taste
Preheat over to 425.
Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook two minutes without browning. Add milk and mayo and stir. Heat until thickened.
Add spinach, garlic and parmesan and stir.
Add eggs and beat until well mixed.
Pour into a greased baking dish and bake at 425 until puffed and brown. About 45 minutes.
This recipe doubles and triples nicely and reheats well too.
By strange coincidence, this dish is often found at Maffini gatherings although the MacPhees (from my Camilla MacPhee mysteries) claim to have invented it. But then, they’re like that.
Someday, I'd like to teach Charlotte Adams to make it, if she could just stop investigating long enough. Once she gets over The Busy Woman's Guide to Murder maybe.
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