Over the weekend, I made an exception as I had bought a huge amount of fresh spinach when I made the Bacon, Egg and Spinach Salad in my last post and I needed a recipe to use up the remainder and keep the husband happy while making him eat spinach twice in three days.
Instead of the heavy cream and whole milk in Emeril's recipe, I substituted fat free half and half and fat free milk.
The extra fat from the heavy cream and whole milk were not missed in the least and it was still wonderfully creamy with the reduced fat roux and the addition of the cheeses. The sauteed shallots and garlic were perfect compliments.
I hope you give this a try if you like creamed spinach - it's a winner!
Creamed Spinach á la Lagasse
Adapted from this recipe by Emeril Lagasse.
Serves 2-4 depending on how much you love creamed spinach (keeping in mind how much fresh spinach shrinks after cooking)!
2 pounds fresh spinach, washed and stems removed
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup fat free half and half (light cream)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon garlic, thinly sliced and then chopped
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups fat free milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper if you have it, otherwise freshly ground black pepper is just fine
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 cup grated Jarlsberg (that's what I had one hand) or Swiss cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Fill a very large pot 2/3 full with water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Add the spinach to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with very cold water to stop the cooking. Squeeze out as much water as possible, either with your hands or place the spinach in a clean kitchen towel and twist the ends tightly. Finely chop the spinach and set aside.
In a small saucepan, add the fat free half and half and bring to a low boil. Remove from the heat.
In large, heavy saucepan (large enough to hold the cooked spinach), melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft for about 1 minute. Stir in the flour and reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until a very light brown roux forms, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the milk in a steady stream, stirring constantly with a whisk, and cook until thick, for about 1 minute. Add the seasonings and simmer on low heat for about 3 minutes. Add the hot cream, whisking constantly, and cook for another 1 minute. Fold in the grated cheeses and mix until smooth. Add the spinach, mix well and heat until completely warmed through.
Adjust the seasonings to taste and serve immediately.