Showing posts with label creamed spinach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label creamed spinach. Show all posts

Monday, January 7, 2013

No-Brainer Creamed Spinach

Welcome to a new year at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen! We have a few changes to announce as we begin 2013.

We're very sorry to see Ellery Adams, our first Saturday of the month pie expert, leave us. She promises to return often, though!

We're thrilled to have Mary Jane Maffini back on a regular basis on second Saturdays. By now you know that she and her daughter are writing a new mystery series as Victoria Abbott.

Annie Knox will be taking over first Saturdays, and Lucy Burdette will post every Thursday. Peg Cochran will round out our Saturdays on the fourth and fifth Saturdays of the month. Third Saturdays? They'll be a surprise!

We already have an amazing line-up of guests booked for Sundays. And we have a few ideas for some special weeks, too. It should be a fun year!

Today I'm posting something that isn't really worth calling a recipe. I'm posting it anyway for two reasons. If you're like me, you probably have a little bit of cream left over from the holidays. Well, maybe not Sheila -- she used up all of hers last week! The other reason is that one of my friends has been asking how I make this. It's so simple and so good that there's never any left over at my house. This time around, I actually measured the ingredients so she can reproduce it at home.

The measurements I'm giving you served three at my house recently, but to everyone's chagrin, no seconds. Spinach shrinks when it's cooked, so if you're serving more than 2-3 people, I recommend doubling the portions below.

I use my immersion blender to chop the spinach and mix in the ingredients, but this could also be done in a regular blender. Then return it to the pot to keep warm until ready to serve.

This also makes a nice filling for spinach crepes. And it's a fine way to start off the new year. The belief is that eating spinach brings dollars!


No-Brainer Creamed Spinach

1 10-ounce package frozen spinach
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
pinch of nutmeg

Cook the spinach and drain the water, pressing it out. Add the other ingredients. Chop with an immersion blender or in a regular blender. Keep warm in the pot until ready to serve.

There's more good news. This is about 300 - 350 calories. That works out to about 100 luxurious guilt-free calories per serving. Aaaah. Enjoy!


Frozen.
 
Cooked.

Add cream, butter, salt and nutmeg.




Not very pretty, but oh, so yummy!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Scallops over a bed of Creamed Spinach


Is anyone here from Indiana? Hope so, because I'll be appearing on WNIT's Dinner and a Book television show on April 23rd, but the show broadcasts only in Indiana.

I'll get a copy of the program, and when I do (the week it airs, I believe) I'll post it on my website. What a fun experience. We had TelePrompTers and three cameras and even an audience. The host of the show, Gail Martin, couldn't have been nicer. Brenda, the director, Angel, Paul, and so many others were supportive and just plain fun to hang out with. I had a blast, can you tell?

Anyway, as Gail and I talked about the White House Chef series and the Manor House series, we made dinner. And of course we used recipes from Buffalo West Wing!

Gail prepared a Greek salad, and Nantucket sea scallops. I prepared hummus and creamed spinach with olive oil and shallots. We finished off with the Triple Berry Cobbler that Gail had prepared ahead of time. Too fun.

I should have taken pictures between segments, but I forgot. I think I was just too nervous and excited to think about anything else but not looking like a goofball on camera.

The recipes, as they appear in Buffalo West Wing, are available via the PDF (and they're also in the back of the book, natch). My personal changes and tweaks, however, appear below

Nantucket Sea Scallops

(I'm not 100% sure mine came from Nantucket, but the ones I found were on sale. Just as good! There's a whole section on how to clean scallops in Buffalo West Wing, but I bought the kind that come pre-cleaned in nice vacuum packs.)

2 tablespoons of canola oil (I used olive oil instead)

4 tablespoons butter

3 cleaned scallops per person for an appetizer portion. 6 cleaned scallops per person for a main course (I used an entire 1 lb bag and boy did these guys shrink!)

1 clove garlic, smashed, cleaned, and finely minced (because I had more scallops and we love garlic, I upped this to 4 cloves)

Salt and pepper, to taste

You will need a sturdy cast iron skillet or equivalent. You want something with a heavy bottom that will evenly distribute the heat from your cooktop, and not have hot spots that might burn the scallops. Place the pan on a burner set on medium-high heat. Place the canola oil in the bottom of the pan with the butter. Mix together as the butter melts. Toss in the minced garlic and give the pan a stir. Let the oil heat up until it is hot, but not smoking. You can test the surface to see if it’s hot enough by carefully dropping a drop of water into the pan. If it sizzles and dances across the surface, the oil’s hot enough.

Using tongs, transfer the scallops to the prepared hot oil in the pan. Let brown for roughly 2 minutes, then turn to brown the other side. Remove cooked scallops from skillet onto warmed plates. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve on a bed of Creamed Spinach with Olive Oil and Shallots (below).

**Okay, for the record, I didn't have a cast iron skillet. I used my non-stick skillet, and I have to say, the scallops did not brown as nicely as they should have. When Gail Martin of Dinner and a Book did this, hers came out so beautifully. Gosh, I wish I would have taken a picture. Lightly browned, beautiful scallops. Mine were cooked and tasty. Just not so pretty.***

Creamed Spinach with Olive Oil and Shallots

Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup shallots, finely minced

10–12 oz. fresh spinach, washed, dried, and trimmed to remove tough stems (I used frozen. Should have doubled this recipe. Wow, it was good!)

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon flour

½ cup liquid—milk, chicken broth, or white wine, depending on personal taste

1 pinch fresh ground nutmeg

¼–½ tablespoon salt, or to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper

¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Put olive oil in a sturdy cast iron skillet or equivalent over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add shallots, stirring until they are clear, about 1 minute. Add spinach, and continue stirring until mixture is heated through and reduced and wilted, about 2–3 minutes.

Remove from heat. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk vigorously until a smooth bubbling paste forms, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the liquid. Keep stirring until you have a thickened sauce. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste. Whisk. Add in the spinach mixture. Stir to coat. Plate. Top with grated cheese. Serve.


My husband commented at least three times about how great this meal was. He's not much of a seafood eater, so this was high praise indeed. And he liked the spinach so much, he finished it. I really should have made more! Would have been a nice leftover for lunch today!

These are really super easy to make. And they take surprisingly little time. Try it!

Enjoy,
Julie

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