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Creamed Spinach With Citrus Kosho From 'Maximum Flavor'

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[Photograph: Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot]

Creamed spinach is not the place my mind jumps to when thinking about modern cooking. Most iterations of the dish are stodgy, cream-leaden bowls of green mush. But Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot's version in their new cookbook, Maximum Flavor, is far from old-fashioned. Seasoned with potent homemade citrus kosho (a blend of zest, chiles, lemongrass, and salt) and a puréed mixture of onion and garlic, their creamed spinach is bright and spicy. The final dollop of dairy—in this case, crème fraîche—balances instead of deadens the flavor.

Why I picked this recipe: I wanted to see how well the Japanese profile of the kosho would work with such an American side dish.

What worked: This is creamed spinach like I'd never had before—tangy and spicy with just a gentle touch of richness.

What didn't: No problems here.

Suggested tweaks: If you don't want to make the citrus kosho yourself, you can use store-bought yuzo kosho—it'll cut the cooking time down to mere minutes. This recipe would work well with any leafy green.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Maximum Flavor to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. Follow her @KateHWiliams.

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