Every other Friday I’m going to do a recipe challenge. Unlike with DIY, Beauty, and Crafts, I’m actually a pretty decent cook. However, I almost always follow recipes exactly with very little deviation. My only exception is: my husband HATES garlic and onions so I usually have to omit those two flavor enhancing ingredients, much to my chagrin. On “Food Fridays” I’m going to build an entire recipe by myself and unfortunately leave out the garlic and onions.
Tomorrow is the made-up Hallmark holiday “Sweetest Day” and so I thought I’d surprise my Hubs with a surf and turf steak/shrimp dinner. I have been strangely craving Creamed Spinach (a dish I’ve had maybe 3 times in my life..) and so I thought I’d give that a whirl for tonight. I know I’ve gotta wilt some spinach, add some cream and make sure it’s seasoned.. so here we go!
First, I wilted down my spinach with a little olive oil. The 2 secrets to wilting spinach is to 1) cover it for a little bit to capture some steam 2) wilt the spinach in batches to expedite the process and to keep the fragile leaves from flying everywhere. I did one bag at a time and covered the pan for 1-2 minutes to begin the wilting process by capturing steam.
After the spinach wilted away, I added cremini mushrooms to the party and sautéed the whole gang until the mushrooms were soft (5 minutes)
After the mushrooms are thoroughly sautéed, I added my cream and let it reduce for about 5 minutes.
After the cream reduced, I added 1/2 cup of shaved Parmesan cheese, cayenne and nutmeg* and stirred it in until it was thoroughly incorporated, seasoned with more salt and pepper and called it a day.
*I’ve heard nutmeg is good with spinach. I’m not a huge fan so I am going with 1/8 tsp of nutmeg lest this dish start to taste like a pumpkin pie.
The Final Product:
Sweetest Day Spinach and Mushrooms
- Serves: 4
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Prep Time: If you measure everything out beforehand.. 5 minutes?
- Actual Cooking Time: 20 Minutes
- Calories: It’s a celebration night.. I’m not going to worry about it.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 – 8oz bags of fresh baby spinach
- 8 oz package of cremini mushrooms
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Heat 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tbsp of olive oil.
- When olive oil is shiny, add one bag of the spinach to the oil and cover to trap in steam for 1-2 minutes. Spinach should begin wilting. Remove cover and stir spinach until fully wilted. When first bag is wilted, add second bag, cover and repeat the same process as the first bag.
- Once both bags are nice and wilty, add the cremini mushrooms, salt (1/2 tsp -ish) and sauté for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft.
- There will be a lot of excess water. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and drain about half the liquid in the pan.
- Add 1/2 cup heavy cream and cook for another 5 minutes to reduce cream.
- Once cream is reduced, add the 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese, nutmeg and cayenne pepper and stir until well incorporated and melty.
- Season the final product to taste with salt and pepper.
- Take photographs of your creation to share with friends and strangers on social media
It tasted great! It was velvety, creamy and the cayenne and nutmeg gave the dish an interesting dimension. It wasn’t too spicy and it certainly wasn’t too pumpkin pie spiced. I would definitely add this to my arsenal!