Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dark Days Challenge 2.0 Creamed Spinach with new kind of baked eggs

For my second Dark Days Challenge I decided to go veggie. After a long week of (local) turkey leftovers and traveling, I was ready for some veggies and eggs.

Creamed spinach with baked eggs and (homemade) English muffins seemed like the perfect fit for dinner tonight. This is a super rich dinner - neither Justin or I could finish our servings.
Separately, the creamed spinach or the baked eggs make a quick meal, but together they are a warm and cozy treat for a cold winter night.

I found the best way to defrost spinach is to put it into a salad spinner basket inside the main bowl. Microwave on defrost at 5 minute intervals. After 5 minutes, give it a spin to remove liquid. Keep defrosting until the spinach is ice and water free.

NOTE: This makes a huge pot of the spinach because we always need leftovers for lunches or dinner for 6. You easily halve this recipe.

I tried to lighten up the creamed spinach by using some stock in the sauce. You could also sub milk for cream, which would probably work just as well.

The technical details for the Dark Day Challenge here:
Spinach - 1/4 was the last leaves from my garden, and 3/4 was from a box of frozen spinach. I had about 5 cups total cooked spinach.
Stock - homemade from the farm turkey
Butter and Cream - Oregon dairy
Onion - garden
Garlic - farmer's market, I am not sure if it is really within 150 miles of Portland, but I am assuming it is.
Eggs - my friend's yard
Capers - From a jar

This is a slightly richer take on my original baked eggs. I recently acquired two 6-inch creme brulee dishes and had to give them a test run. These are so pretty out of the oven and would be a great appetizer with a loaf of crusty bread.

Cream Baked Eggs
2 tablespoons creme
2 teaspoons capers (optional)
4 eggs
salt and pepper

1. Divide cream and capers between the dishes. Crack 2 eggs into each dish.
2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Bake 15 - 20 minutes at 350 degrees, depending on how runny you want the yolk.

Meanwhile make your
Creamed Spinach
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion chopped
4 garlic
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup stock
1 cup cream or milk
5 cups cooked spinach (3 boxes of frozen spinach if using)
salt and pepper

1. Cook (or defrost) and drain spinach.
2. In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute on low for about 5 minutes.
3. Sprinkle onion and garlic with the flour and stir for one minute. Add half of the broth and half of the cream and stir until the roux begins to thicken.
4. Add spinach and add more liquid as needed until the spinach is saucy enough for your taste.
5. Adjust salt and pepper.

We ate this all in one bowl, out of laziness. Add a dollop of creamed spinach to a bowl and scoop the eggs out of their dish to top the spinach. Serve with bread. (Really, start with half as much as you think you can eat - this is rich!)

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