Laurie Colwin's Creamed Spinach

By • December 23, 2015 17 Comments

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Author Notes: Laurie Colwin altered her version or creamed spinach a bit from one served to her in Dallas during a literary festival by a cook named Betty Josey. "It was so good it made me want to sit up and beg like a dog," Colwin wrote. If you don't have one thing, you can make do—you don't want to keep cans of evaporated milk around just to use 1/2 cup in this recipe, any mix of cream and milk will work; you want to use Gruyère, great; you don't have celery salt, fine. Adapted slightly from Home Cooking (Harper Perennial, 1988).Genius Recipes

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Serves 6 to 8

  • 2 10-ounce packages frozen spinach
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
  • one or more jalapeño peppers, chopped (fresh or pickled)
  • Buttered bread crumbs (I used 1/2 cup breadcrumbs mixed with 2 tablespoons melted butter)
  1. Cook the spinach. Drain, reserving one cup of liquid, and chop fine.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Blend and cook a little. Do not brown.
  3. Add onion and garlic.
  4. Add one cup of spinach liquid slowly, then add evaporated milk, black pepper, celery salt, and cheese. Add one or more jalapeño peppers (how many is a question of taste as well as what kind. Colwin used the pickled kind, from a jar. I used one fresh), and the spinach. Cook until all is blended.
  5. Turn into a buttered casserole topped with buttered bread crumbs, and bake for about 45 minutes at 300° F until the top is crisp and golden. If you want to speed up the browning, toast under the broiler.

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