Monday, December 20, 2010

Steakhouse Spinach in 5 minutes


   Yesterday when I was making my Anglo-Indian lunch, I was looking for a proper second veg. I have always been a big spinach fan and as far as I'm concerned, one of the best sides to serve with any sort of roast dish is a nice creamed spinach. I usually make a Kashmiri-style spinach, creamy with lentils and fiery hot. This time, I was looking for something a little milder since the roast would be well spiced. I decided on a simple chop-house-style creamed spinach... except I didn't have any cream. What to do?
  The answer was Half and Half.  I know. Had I thought harder, I most likely could have come up with another solution, but Half and Half is what I had and that's the way I went. This dish cooks up very fast so it's something that can be made right before serving.


Steakhouse Spinach



Here's what to do:

 Steam 1 lb of fresh spinach.
 When it's cooked, press excess water from it and chop it finely.
  In a skillet or kadhai, heat 1 Tbs of unsalted butter.
 When the butter has melted add in 1  chopped shallot.
 When the shallot has turned translucent add in:
 the chopped spinach
 1/4 cup of Half and Half
 a pinch of nutmeg
 salt and pepper to taste
 Saute it all together until the Half and Half is mostly absorbed, usually about 3 minutes.
 I always like to add in a bit of garam masala at the last minute for a bit of flavor enhancement, but it's just fine without. This recipe serves 2 people only but can easily be multiplied.
   It's a perfect dish for a cold Wintry, rainy Sonoma weekend. I had to put on wellies and wade out into our winter creek this morning as there was some sort of obstruction causing it to back up. I wound up over my ankles in leaves and mud and sinking fast... not a great feeling. I managed to dislodge whatever was blocking things up. Now I'm now inside listening to the creek rushing by outside my office window while working on a squash dish and looking forward to leftover roast for lunch. Coming up soon... a sweet surprise for the Holiday season.

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