Serious Eats: Recipes
I Love Creamed Spinach
And the Pioneer Woman is back with one of her patented visual recipes—this time for a classic steakhouse side. —The Serious Eats Team
I love creamed spinach. Have I mentioned that? I do. I think I first developed a love for it during my vegetarian days back in L.A., when my carnivorous friends would drag me out to steak restaurants and I had no choice but to order all the sides on the menu lest I starve. And creamed spinach was always my first choice, followed by sautéed mushrooms, roasted asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes, and carrot purée. Gosh, I was weird.
Today I’m married, it just so happens, to a cattle rancher and I’ve long since learned to love a good, juicy rib-eye. And while I look at my very brief (OK, seven-year) stint as a vegetarian as a youthful indiscretion, I have carried with me a deep, abiding love for steakhouse side dishes. I still love my creamed spinach.
There are lots of different approaches to making creamed spinach---starting with a roux, splashing in some wine, sprinkling on some nutmeg---but most of the time when I have a hankerin’ for the stuff, I just stick to the basics so I can get it into my mouth more quickly: Cream. Spinach. And just a few other simple things to enhance the flavor of the two.
I use spinach, olive oil, butter, garlic, onion, heavy cream, and salt & pepper. Could it get any simpler?
Start by dicing an onion pretty finely. This isn’t very fine yet, but I kept on choppin’ after I snapped the photo.
Shallots work well, too, but you try finding shallots in a small town grocery store in Middle America. Go ahead---find ‘em. I’ll see ya in about six years.
Next, chop 2 cloves garlic.
Melt 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until translucent.
Now add in the spinach.
Lightly press it down with a spoon and toss it very gently as it wilts.
When it comes to creamed spinach, wilting is good.
There---that’s about right. You can stop when the spinach is pretty wilted, but not completely falling apart.
Now add in about a cup of heavy cream. No need to drown the spinach; just give it a nice little bath. A nice little heavy cream bath.
Now sprinkle in some salt…
And black pepper to taste. And that’s it! It took a maximum of ten minutes. And you may have noticed I went a little heavy on the diced onion, but that’s because I like the contrasting texture and sweetness the onion provides. You can certainly cut back on the amount of onions if they give you the willies.
Ahhhh, baby. Ohhhh, yes. Just look at that beautiful burst of verdant culinary beauty. And if you think it looks good, just wait ‘til you taste it.
And word on the street is, it’s delicious cold the next day, eaten with a fork straight out of the fridge.
Of course, I wouldn’t know anything about that.