So, you vant to know how to mek krim spinatch?
Nothing says the Double Bay of old to me more than creamed spinach. Twenty-One, Georges, the Double Bay Steakhouse …
Well, many years ago I found this recipe in the Canberra Times (I was working for a press clipping agency at the time), and cut it out so I could try to emulate the delicious memories.
For years I was a purist. Nothing but English spinach would suffice. Silverbeet? The very mention of the word would cast a pall over my face. I didn’t even consider chard as an option. Well, I’m glad to say that my snobbery has been put to rest: in the past year I’ve experimented with English spinach OR Silverbeet, and in this latest version I was brave enough to go with a beautiful bunch of organic rainbow chard. Save the red stems and use as part of a gratin recipe (see Stephanie Alexander for a great gratin recipe, under the Silverbeet section).
Here’s the general principles if you’re kosher. If it’s a milkhig meal, use milk instead of chicken stock. Although it’s called creamed spinach, you do NOT need to use cream. If it’s a fleyshig/pareve meal, use chicken stock (or vegetarian stock) instead of milk. Vegetarians can eat this with impunity if you use either vegetarian stock or milk.
Step 1: Wash leaves thoroughly. Grit is disgusting and gets in your teeth. Then boil a kettle, put your leaves in a large bowl or the sink, and pour the boiling water over them. This will cook them perfectly, and save washing up a saucepan.
Step 2: Soak a bread-roll in stock or milk. Don’t make creamed spinach without the bread roll. Don’t make creamed spinach at Pesakh, you shmendrik! Squeeze some of the liquid out of the bread roll once it is nice and soft.
Step 3: Place the drained leaves and bread roll in a food processer, and blend. Now you are ready to make the roux.
Step 4: Cut up 3 garlic cloves, and cook them incredibly slowly in 3 tablespoons of neutral oil (I use light olive oil). Do not let them colour or burn!
Step 5: Then add 3 good tablespoons of flour to the mix, incorporate and stir constantly, and wait until the flour is ‘cooked out’, that is, turns a nice blond shade. This is called a blond roux. See? I told you not to cook this on Pesakh!
Step 6: Add the spinach/bread mixture into the roux. Stir well. Add stock/milk to make a sauce-like consistency, and continue cooking on a low heat until you get a nice coating on the back of the spoon.
Enjoy! Krim Spinatch. MMM.