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Fat Guy

THE BEST: Creamed Spinach in NYC

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You mean they all don't buy it at some central commissary? It sure seems that way. The creamy chopped spinach at Mitchell London Steakhouse at Fairway is pretty good and different. It's a little watery. But it's good with a bit of their mashed potatoes to soak up the water.

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Alacarte: Why?

Steve P: I think they all taste pretty different. I bet you and I could distinguish among them in a blind tasting. But I agree that Mitchel London's is nice because the spinach maintains so much of its integrity.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Actually, just to go off topic for a minute, the Garlic Creamed Spinach at Joe's Stone Crabs is pretty good. But okay Fat Guy, I'm ready to do a creamed spinach taste off.

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Smith & Wollensky gets my vote.

Its a damnned good one, to be sure, but a larger amount of cream than I would like. Same goes for Gage and Tollners.

Luger's I think has an appropriate ratio of spinach to dairy. Its got my vote.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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How exactly do you make creamed spinach anyway? Does anybody have a basic steakhouse-style recipe handy that we can use as a reference point?


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I honestly didn't notice any cream or dairylike ingredients in the Luger's spinach I ate recently... that's why I liked it...

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The trick with creamed spinach is to wring as much water out of the spinach as possible otherwise the spinach can't absorb the cream properly.

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I could swear I read somewhere that there is no cream or milk in Peter Luger's creamed spinach. I don't remember where.

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I think I remember Grimes or someone from the Times praising the creamed spinach at DB Bistro... Anyone tried it? What makes it so good?


JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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The Four Seasons Grill Room

I made it every day for six months. Reduce five quarts of cream in a steam jacketed kettle until thick, a little burnt tasting (for cream) and almost broken but not quite.

We used frozen spinach leaves. Use good quality frozen, the lesser stuff has too much stem. Lizziee's right. After thoroughly defrosting them, break 'em up into balls and squeeze 'em 'till your eyballs burst from their sockets.

Twice grind the squoze spinach through a hobart meat grinder (small holes).

Heat some whole butter until it just begins to become noisette. Add the ground spinach. Be careful 'cause the spinach will suck the butter right up. You'll want to use quite a bit of butter.

Add the cream. Some freshly grated nutmeg. Add nutmeg till you can taste it. S&P to taste, and the secret ingredient...Demi-Glace...Good rich demi-glace. Rich enough to be close to glace de viande.

That's it. Steam table and serve. Add more cream if it tightens up on you.

amounts? I dunno. Say 5# frozen spinach (which isn't gonna yield that much cause of all the water). Say a pound of butter, say 3 quarts of cream. Nutmeg, S&P to taste. Eight oz (?) demi.

Might work, might not. I currently make this in 60 pound batches (spinach). The equivilent fresh product would be pretty cumbersome, which is why I use frozen. Even for home use (which I am not qualified to post on), it seems that to get enough blanched and squoze spinach for 4 hungry people is gonna translate into a heap of cello-pak triple washed.

edit: When I ate at Luger's, it looked like cream or milk to me. The color was also very nice. I thought they used fresh spinach.

Nick


Edited by ngatti (log)

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Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking has a recipe for Creamed Spinach with Jalapeno peppers, which I have read many times, because her writing is so comforting, but never made, because I have my snobbish doubts about evaporated milk:

'Cook two packages of frozen spinach. Drain, researving one cup of liquid and chop fine.

Melt 4 tbsp butter in a saucepan and add 2 tbsp flour. Blend and cook a little. Do not brown.

Add 2 tbsp chopped onion and one clove of minced garlic. Add one cup of spinach liquid slowly, then add 1/2 cup evaporated milk, some fresh black pepper, 3/4 tsp celery salt, 6oz Monterey Jack cheese cut into cubes. Add one or more chopped jalapeno pepper....Cook until all is blended

Turn into a buttered casserole topped with buttered bread crumbs and bake for about forty-five minutes at 300 degrees.'

Has anyone ever tried this? Is it good?

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Spinach absorbs a lot of butter, as Nick said. I read (somewhere) of a chef who "fed" butter to a dish of chopped spinach, every day, until it had absorbed its weight in butter. So I tried this, not over several days but over an hour or two. Chopped spinach, sweated in butter, then added butter piece by piece. The spinach easily took more than 50% of its weight -- and it might have taken more, but we gave up and ate it. It was delicious, but then again eating this butter straight (it was very good stuff, beurre echire) would also have been good.


Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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Spinach absorbs a lot of butter, as Nick said. I read (somewhere) of a chef who "fed" butter to a dish of chopped spinach, every day, until it had absorbed its weight in butter.

Jane Grigson - Good Things :smile:

v

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What is the origin of the recipe? Is it one of those olde New York jobs or did they bring it over from England?

garwsh! it must be danish, i guess...everybody i know makes it for "frikadeller" (meatballs of a kind). spinach, butter, reduced cream, nutmeg. yep, that's as danish as can be. if it's not german, of course. or french :raz:

i'm actually going to make it tonight!


christianh@geol.ku.dk. just in case.

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My mother-in-law Joan is one of the best Yankee New England cooks I know, so I asked her about this since she makes it... She said "creamed" means a thickened cream/milk type sauce, i.e. creamed corn, creamed potatoes, etc... She said creaming can be thin, medium or thick, depending on the amount of cream/milk, butter and thickening agent used, and your personal preferences.

She offers the following basic creamed spinach recipe (medium thick) which I have re-named:

Creamed Spinach 101

1 bag fresh spinach (cleaned and stemmed)

or 1 box good quality frozen spinach

1 Cup Milk

1 Tablespoon flour

2 Tablespoons butter

Salt & Pepper

1. Cook and thoroughly drain the spinach.

2. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour, strirring like a roux.

3. Add the milk gradually, stirring continuously.

4. When all the milk is added and the sauce is thickened, add the cooked spinach and stir to heat through. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Some variations... adding a dash of nutmeg, garlic, onions, shallots, etc...

Bon Appetit!

Edited : I forgot the flour in original post, recipe is good now!


Edited by TrishCT (log)

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Yes, Laurie Colwin's spinach is delicious. At least, it is when made without the celery salt (that's MY snobbiness), and with jalapeno Jack cheese, which she said was in the original. Do not be put off by the "convenience" of evaporated milk and pickled peppers; using them means you can make it anytime at all! :biggrin: (without having to run to the store for cream).

Early on in this thread, Jason mentioned Gage and Tollner's as having too much cream. I quite agree. It tastes like cream with spinach, instead of spinach with cream. That balance is very important, nay critical.

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At the risk of dragging in all of the baggage of the presentation debate, I'm chiming in to say that a fresh green color makes a big difference in my enjoyment of the dish. I also like it thick with spinach, as opposed to runny with the creamy stuff, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Grill 23 in Boston makes a good version.

I'll have to try the Creamed Spinach 101 recipe soon, since my previous attempts at home have been disappointing.

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