Saturday, April 10, 2010

Outside the Comfort Zone Baked Creamed Spinach

I was never big on spinach growing up. My sister was a parents dream because she loved her veggies. I on the other hand had sugar, flour and butter imprinted on my DNA from birth. But as all  adults come to realize, veggies kind of are a necessary culinary evil that we have to allow into our lives at some point.

One  of the things I've liked about my various baking/cooking challenges is that it does require me to get out of my food ruts from time to time and discover that hey, anchovy paste is not as horrible as it sounds when combined in a Caeser dressing. However, I've not had enough challenges come my way involving veggies so I'm going to have to challenge myself on this one.

So today, in need of a side dish for dinner, I did a google search on spinach and came up with this recipe from Spinach Recipes which also has a fair amount of other spinach recipes, some of which look intriguing enough to give it a try.  Which is a good thing. I do need all the help I can get to eat my veggies. And by veggies, I mean real ones. Not when I try to rationalize that cocoa beans are a veggie and are therefore good for me.

End was fairly good.  Tasted more like spinach than I expected with the milk and cheese, especially since I added extra cheese.  I'd prefer a little more flavor to it, so next time I'd up the pepper and nutmeg on this or add a little ancho pepper powder to kick it up a bit.

Creamed Baked Spinach
(Adapted slightly from Spinach Recipes)


1 lb frozen spinach
3/4 cup hot milk
1/2 cup of sharp white cheddar cheese, grated.
1 tablespoons of butter.
1 tablespoons of flour.
1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Pinch of pepper.
Pinch of nutmeg.

Preparation Instructions:

In a saucepan, melt the butter; then add the flour.

Whisk and gently cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add the milk; then bring to a boil.

Add the salt and a pinch of pepper and nutmeg.

Cook for about 5-6 minutes.

Combine the sauce with the spinach and 1/4 cup of grated cheese.

Spoon into a baking dish, then top with the other 1/4 cup of grated cheddar.

Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 20 minutes.

Serve as desired.

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