The late Laurie Colwin loved creamed spinach with jalapeños. And Joyce Goldstein offers at least two recipes for braised spinach stems. These two ideas, taken together, led to the creation of the following: —friendlyoaks
cremini mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and cut into ½” chunks
shallot lobes, peeled and thinly sliced
4-oz. can whole mild peeled and roasted chiles, cut into matchsticks 1/8” x 1”
Prep the spinach stems. Do not use baby spinach leaves; you need spinach with real stems, if possible with the actual root attached. Separate the stems from leaves, and reserve the leaves for another use. Trim away any root or wood portion of the stems, but include any white/pink stem portions near the root end. Thoroughly wash the stems. Cut the longer stems into 2” lengths. Put the stems aside for the moment.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and cook until they release most of their water. Add the shallots and reduce the heat to medium. Cook just until the shallots are tender and the mushrooms begin turning brown. Remove mushrooms and shallots from the pan and set them aside.
Put the spinach stems into the same pan with water just to cover and a pinch of salt. (Retain any remaining oil in the pan; don’t wipe it out.) Turn the heat to high and boil the stems until the water almost evaporates and the stems are tender. (You can add a bit more water if it evaporates too quickly.) When the water is almost gone, add the chiles.
Finally, add the mushrooms to the mixture and heat briefly. Put the mixture into a serving bowl and stir in the crème fraiche. Serve.