I served creamed spinach with Roast Beef. The spinach is steamed and then mixed in a bay leaf infused white sauce. Frankly, spinach leaves didn't taste bitter, even though they weren't boiled for hours. I make white sauce regularly, but this is the first time I infused it with bay leaf. The recipe is adapted from Nigel Slater's recipe.
Spinach needs to be washed thoroughly to remove the dirt. Since spinach grows near the ground, the leaves carry a lot of dirt. It takes time for the leaves to be clean, so you have to wash the spinach patiently.
I used half the quantity of the spinach mentioned in the recipe. I also just eye balled the ingredient quantities for white sauce. Creamed spinach is supposed to be served hot, but I served it slightly warm, mostly because it was ready before other ingredients. A thin skin had formed on top, but a little stirring got rid of it.
Creamed spinach is a classic dish served with steaks (which was my original plan, but had to be tweaked midway during the cooking). A mouthful of meat accompanied with creamed spinach is an indulgence like none else.
500 gm spinach
300 ml milk
1 small onion, roughly sliced
1 bay leaf
50 gm butter
50 gm flour
50 ml cream
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
A pinch nutmeg powder
Remove stems from spinach leaves and wash thoroughly in a colander. Put in a large stainless steel pot. Add 2 tbsp water. Put the pot on low heat. Cover the pot and let the spinach cook slowly. In around five minutes the spinach will be limp and bright green. Remove from heat and put in a colander to cool and drain.
Heat the milk with onion, bay leaf and cloves. Just before boiling, remove from heat and leave to infuse. Infse for at least 1 hour.
Melt butter on low heat. Add the flour and mix to make a thin paste. Slowly whisk in the milk. Keep whisking until the sauce thickens. Stir in the cream and mix. Add salt and pepper.
Squeeze the spinach leaves to remove excess water. If needed put the leaves on a paper towel to remove water. Chop the leaves roughly and add to the white sauce. sprinkle the nutmeg and mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve warm.