Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Classic Creamed Spinach

[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

Whenever I opt to make steaks for dinner I have an ulterior motive: creamed spinach. It's not written in stone that all steaks must be served with a side of creamed spinach, steakhouse-style, but in my mind that's the way it goes. My go-to is a quick version with shallots softened in butter and quick steamed spinach finished with nutmeg and cream, but while it's always great, it's missing that rich Béchamel quality that you get at a real-deal steakhouse.

This recipe for Classic Creamed Spinach from Nigel Slater's Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch showed me exactly what my spinach was missing: a roux. Slater begins his creamed spinach by infusing milk with black peppercorns, bay leaf, and an onion. The milk is simmered and added to a mix of butter and flour, then whisked into a very thick, creamy roux. Spinach, cream, and nutmeg are incorporated at the very last minute, resulting in the kind of creamed spinach that you'd order at a steakhouse that's been around for longer than you have.

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

Reprinted with permission from Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater. Copyright © 2009, 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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