Timbales can involve a number of ingredients but need to have a base ingredient that holds the dish together when it's unmolded. The molds can be a number of shapes but typically taper towards the bottom for easy unmolding. I only had some ramekins, so that's what I went with. This is a great comfort-food dish to enjoy during the winter as it's essentially a spinach custard. The secret ingredients that really make this so full flavored is the chicken broth that is reduced almost to a glaze and then added to the milk/cream base and browning the butter before sauteeing the spinach in it. The sauteed tomatoes adds a burst of flavor contrast. This goes great with a salad for lunch or with roast meats for dinner. Really yummy and soul satisfying. —TheWimpyVegetarian
heavy whipping cream
garlic cloves, smashed
large shallot, minced
spinach leaves only (this equates to about 13 oz spinach with the stems on)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Butter the molds you will use and line the bottoms with buttered parchment paper.
Reduce the chicken broth to about 1 tablespoon. It will thicken and become almost like a glaze. Set aside.
Combine the milk, cream and smashed garlic in a small pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and steep with the garlic for 20 minutes. Remove the garlic and add the cheese, reheating slightly if necessary to melt the cheese. Add the reduced chicken broth. Set aside.
In a saute pan, melt the butter and keep it over medium heat while it turns a deep golden brown. When it's a nut brown, add the shallots and saute until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add the spinach and lemon juice, constantly turning to completely wilt the leaves. Add the nutmeg, salt and white pepper and saute another minute. Remove from the pan, finely chop, and return to the pan.
Sprinkle the flour evenly over the spinach mixture and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the milk/cream/broth base, bring to a simmer and remove from heat to cool. When cool, whisk the egg pretty thoroughly and add to the mixture.
Pour into the molds. Place the molds in a baking pan and fill the pan with hot water half way up the sides of the molds. Bake for 20 minutes or until set.
Remove from the oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the custard base to set up. Run a sharp knife around the outside and carefully flip over to unmold onto a plate.
Saute the tomatoes in the butter. Salt and pepper to taste and spoon over the spinach timbales.