I love spinach, especially the gooey, yummy side dish at high-end steakhouses. I didn’t always have this obsession– it arrived after adulthood but it’s here to stay like my wine habit. I was originally inspired by a recipe in Cooking Light, one of my fave magazines (and another obsession) and it has evolved over the years. Serve it with grilled steaks and a green salad and you are good to go… mmm… creamy, healthier goodness wrapped in flavor. It also only takes about 15 minutes to make, including chopping.
Steakhouse Creamed Spinach
2/3 cup milk of choice
2 teaspoons all purpose flour, or flour of choice (cassava works)
Cooking spray or 1/2 t. olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced leek (about one large)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (10-ounce) package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup (2 oz.) cream cheese (but not low fat… that stuff is just wrong)
1/2 teaspoon salt
5-6 turns of a pepper mill (more if you like it spicy)
dash of nutmeg
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan (Reggiano or Grana Padano if you can swing it. Don’t use the stuff in the can – it’s not the same)
1. Combine milk and flour in a small bowl and stir well with a whisk. Set aside.
2. Heat a medium saucepan over medium high heat and add cooking spray or oil. Add leek and garlic, sauté 2 minutes or until leek is soft and tender. Add spinach and sauté 1 minute. Stir in milk mixture, cook about 2 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thick (it won’t make a lot of sauce), stirring constantly. Stir in cream cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg, cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, add parmesan cheese and stir until melted through.
Makes about 4- 1/2 cup side servings, but I’ve been known to eat the whole thing myself with a glass of rich sauvignon blanc.