May 102013
 

Creamed spinach as served in old school steak houses never gets old. It’s a fun treat to learn for home cooking around the holidays. But why only spinach–could this be done with other greens? I hoped so, because there were assorted greens in my fridge that needed to be cooked.

There was kale and mixed greens including beet and dandelion, etc. We tried it. We liked it.

Child eating greens

Here’s how it’s done.

Remove kale stems and any other woody bits from whatever greens you decide to use. You’re looking to get six or even 12 cups of greens–it’s going to reduce dramatically. Now chop it up into bite sized pieces. Here’s the mix I had on hand:

Chopped greens on cutting board.

While that cooks, assemble the other ingredients. Here are the flavors we’ll add to the dish.

Creamed greens flavors.

Shallots, garlic, pepper, and nutmeg (freshly grated).

Now your greens are probably done and they’ll look like this:

Cooked greens in a bowl.

In the same pan, saute shallots for 1-2 minutes. Then add garlic and the rest of the seasonings, working quickly so the garlic doesn’t burn. Stir that together then add about 2 tablespoons of flour. Cook for only about 60 seconds so that the flour toasts just a little and the garlic become fragrant but does not brown (very important–it will be terribly bitter if it browns).

Flavors added to the pan.

Now add about two tablespoons of butter and stir together until it turns clumpy. Again, working quickly, whisk in about ½ cup of milk. When the milk is slowly combined with the clumpy stuff already in the pan, it should turn into a nice cream sauce. Add more milk if it’s too thick, or let it cook down a bit if it’s too thin.

Roux.

You’re working fast and carefully at this point because the butter, flour, or garlic can burn pretty easily.

After 1/2 cup or milk has been whisked in.

After 1/2 cup or milk has been whisked in.

Now return the greens to the pan. Taste and add salt or pepper if needed. If the consistency looks good, serve it up.

The finished product.

The finished product.

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