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Creamed Spinach

This is creamed spinach, not that bizarre idea of serving spinach with runny cream, and it truly is the best accompaniment to a barbecued ribeye steak. Our dinner for two on New Year’s Eve.

Creamed spinach – serves 2

  • 300ml whole milk
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, bashed
  • 2 bay leaves, torn
  • 500g main crop spinach
  • 50g butter, plus a bit extra
  • 40g plain flour
  • nutmeg, for grating
  • a large handful of coarse white breadcrumbs
  • a large handful of finely grated Cheddar cheese

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 6.

Pour the milk into a medium-sized saucepan and put over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and bay leaves and bring to a gentle simmer. Take the pan off the heat and leave to infuse for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, drop the spinach into a large pan of boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes, until wilted. Drain and cool until you can squeeze the excess liquid out with your hands. Roughly chop and set aside.

Heat a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter. When it starts to bubble, add the flour and cook and stir for 1 minute before pouring in the infused milk (strain it through a sieve first and discard the onion and herbs). Whisk for 1-2 minutes to make a thick white sauce. Season well with salt and pepper and a good grating of nutmeg, then remove from the heat and fold in the chopped spinach. Spoon the mixture into a small ovenproof dish.

Mix the breadcrumbs with the grated cheese and scatter over the dish. Dot with a little butter and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until crisp, golden and bubbling.

(Original recipe from Time by Gill Meller, Quadrille, 2018.)

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