Despite almost universal condemnation, the winning recipe from Cookery Lotto, was Creamed Spinach from ‘The Prawn Cocktail Years’ by Simon Hopkinson and Lindsey Bareham.
All I can say is, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Anyway, spinach is good for you.. it says so on the packet. In fact the word “Superfood” is used. And if you were to add cream and butter to it… would that make it a super Superfood? It just gets better and better.
So, let’s get started – you’ll need
Spinach (at least a large bag full, the recipe in ‘The Prawn Cocktail Years’ says 1.4 kg.. but that really would make a huge amount.
Salt and Pepper
You will only need 2 cloves and you will need to grate the nutmeg – most jars have a lovely little grater inside!
First of all, you need to get a large pan of water boiling away, so you can blanch the spinach
That only takes a few seconds – you need to dunk the leaves under the boiling water and then get them out and drained and rinsed in cold water.
Let that spinach cool then really squeeze it dry, ready to chop finely once it has cooled.
Meanwhile, prepare the bechamel sauce.
First though you have to flavour the milk you will be using in it by finely chopping the onion and putting that in a pan with 150ml of milk, along with the two cloves. Get that to simmering point for a few minutes and then take it off the heat and let it steep for about 30 minutes to really get the flavours infused through the milk.
Melt 50 g butter
then add 50 g of plain flour and stir it to make a roux and cook it gently for a few minutes to get the floury taste out.
the infused milk into the roux and stir quickly and throughly to get rid of any lumps.
See? Stirring quickly turns it into a gorgeously smooth sauce. It is thick, and you will probably think it is too thick but it’s not. You’ll be adding the spinach to that and you don’t want it to be runny.. the spinach has to be kept in suspension. You’ll see…. keep it on a low heat and cook it for about 15 minutes, stirring every now and then.
Remember I said squeeze that spinach till it’s dry? You need to chop it finely. No big lumps, eh?
Then…. add the spinach, 50 ml of double cream, a good grating of nutmeg and some pepper and stir it…..look at it……
Still green… a lovely, bright green. Bound in a delicious cream sauce….. not, as you will be whining ( yes, you know I am looking at you!) not, as I said before, slimy in the least… just the smoothest, most gorgeous, silky, tasty spinach ever.
Mmmmmmmmmhhhhmmmmmmm…… bliss in a bowl.
No more complaints… go buy spinach!