Bon Appetit | March 2006
Surprisingly enough, I got hooked by this dish at our Caferia. Yes, it's not often cafeteria serves great tasting food but that's just how it is at ours. Sad to say, they have a vast list of dishes that in the last two years, I only managed to eat this four times.
I tried requesting a repeat to the Chef but I got a resounding "No". There's a schedule to follow... hmp!
So, I found out how to make it... woohoo!
Tip 1: Remove as much water from the spinach to keep it creamy instead of soupy
Tip 2: If you want this recipe with a kick, add a small red chile or a dash of chili flakes and 1/8 tsp black peppercorns together with the onion
Tip 3: If you want it really, really soft, wilt it longer than 3 minutes.
Tip 4: This side dish is best served with fried or dried dishes such as fried fish, steaks or roast, or fried chicken.
1/8 cup water
12 ounce baby spinach leaves
1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/8 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup whipping cream
Serves 5 as a side dish
Heat the water in a large pot. Once bubble starts to form, add half of the spinach and toss until it is wilted. Transfer it onto a strainer. Wilt the other half the same way. Press the spinach against the strainer to release all the liquid. Once rid of every possible liquid, chop spinach coarsely then set aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and bay leaf until onion is softened, about three minutes. Whisk in flour and salt. Cook until it is pale gold and the aroma becomes smells nutty. Constantly whisk for about three minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk. Boil it until it's thick, strirring for another two minutes. Strain the sauce into a medium bowl.
Heat cream in the same saucepan over medium heat until it simmers. Add the strained sauce and whisk until it is smooth and is starts simmering.
Add Spinach and stir until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and end with a dash or two of nutmeg.