Thursday, September 18, 2008

Creamed Spinach (Page 578)


  • Date: Monday, September 8, 2008 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

The beginning of the semester is a crazy time, so I was looking for some super-quick recipes to make last week. This creamed spinach dish definitely fit the bill. I steamed the spinach and then mixed into a quick heavy cream sauce. I accidentally made this dish a little too simple though. The Book has this habit of embedding prep steps in the ingredients list. For instance, instead of listing "One 1 1/4 pound butternut squash," in the ingredients list and putting, "Peel, seed, and coarsely chop butternut squash" in the directions, it might just put "One, 1 1/4 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped" in the list of ingredients. I am aware of this aspect of Book recipes, and usually I am careful to read the ingredients list carefully. I made this dish right after a run though, and I was hungry and dazed. So when the directions said to steam the spinach, I just dumped the spinach out of the bag and into the steamer. I neglected to notice that the instructions to remove all the stems and chop the spinach were embedded in the ingredients list. Whoops. When I tasted the final dish, I thought to myself, "This would be better if the spinach was chopped." And then it occurred to me -- maybe I was supposed to chop it and neglected to do so. And indeed, that was the case. Because of the user error, it is a hard to grade this. It wasn't very good, but part of that was a textural problem caused by the big pieces of spinach, and their stems. The cream and spinach didn't incorporate too well, but had the spinach been chopped that would have no doubt been less of a problem. The flavor of the dish was not bad, but nothing too exciting -- it tasted like spinach floating in cream, which is exactly what it was. As I prepared it, this was a C+ recipe, but I am confident that it would have been significantly better had I actually followed the recipe. Perhaps I will try it again sometime...

Here is the recipe.

I had a lovely trip to California, and now I am sitting at the airport in Chicago, on my way back home. I had a great time seeing friends and spending time in the Berkeley math department. I was happy with how my talk went -- the people in the seminar there generally have mathematical interests that aren't too similar to my research, but they were still actively participating in my talk (asking questions, making comments...) which is a good sign. I also had a wonderful time staying with Emilee, Brian, and Sam, and spending time with Chris, Chuck, Lynn, and Cornelia.

On Tuesday night, Chris, Emilee, Brian, and I ordered take-out Thai food, and we sat around drinking beer and eating together. It was really nice. Emilee bought me ten pounds of wedding magazines, and we laid on the floor and flipped through them, arguing about what we liked and didn't. The more I read about big, elaborate weddings, the more I want a small one! My special gentleman and I are definitely leaning towards a smaller, less fussy wedding. Nevertheless, it is still fun to read those magazines, especially while hanging out with my best friends and drinking beer!


Philippe said...

Dear Teena,

I am the number one French fan of this blog. As such, I'd like to challenge you with the most difficult recipe ever: the chocolate macaron (page 676 in the book). I personally believe that it is impossible to do it correctly but Veronique claims we just suck.

By the way, congrats on your life-changing event (as insurance companies like to call it).


Liz C said...

Hey, here's a wedding site you might enjoy:

I've checking it out too, although I don't suspect I'll need it for another year or two.

And spinach floating in cream? Urp...

Teena said...

Phil: I accept your challenge! I bought the ingredients today, and I will make them something this week. I'll let you know how it goes!

Liz: Thanks for the link. That is a fun website!

Philippe said...

Macarons? Macarons? Anybody has seen macarons?

I am inclined to think that you failed miserably this recipe (like we did) but can't admit it.