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Help! Whats Wrong With This Recipe - Creamed Spinach

I usually do not use recipes but look at a few and then wing it - in this case with a ham in the oven and a handful of other things going on I just took the first one off google and went for it

recipe here for "Ruth Chris" steakhouse creamed spinach


The whole time it felt that I was doing things in the wrong order - adding the onions after the flour - (how are you supposed to dig the clove out of that mess) and it told you to start the spinach way too late (that part I did not follow) I felt the instructions were out of step and did not give the onions enough time to cook without burning the flour . Creamed anything is not something on my usual list (normally I would sauté) but it seemed a nice fit for a blizzard. Served with a mango/honey/ginger glazed clove studded ham and smashed red potatoes it was definitely not the highlight of the meal - end result not so flavorful and onions not caramelized enough

Is it is recipe or was it user error ?

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  1. Recipe. The onions would still be quite raw.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jammy

      indeed they were - that was the worst part

      1. re: JTPhilly

        Here is a link to another version of the recipe. It seems as the one you used skipped a step-to strain the bechamel. The onions then just are part of flavoring not part of dish!


        1. re: DDaruba

          Thanks! That helps a lot - the onions were really the worst part of the finished product

    2. The reviews for the recipe seem good, but I think it's overworked and the spinach overcooked. I use heavy cream, parmesan, garlic, s and p and a bit of minced onion and make a quickie with whole baby spinach leaves just before eating.

      For me, all that flour gunk ruins the texture and dulls the flavors.

      I don't chop the spinach, nor use nutmeg, but this is a good template for your additions/flavors: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cr...

      1 Reply
      1. re: mcf

        yes it is the reviews that stumped me - I should have looked more closely at the recipe before I started - yours looks better

      2. My favorite creamed spinach is the oh-so-sinful Boston Market version.

        Compared to this, it has:

        - half and half
        - cream cheese
        - parmesan cheese
        - onion and garlic powder
        - frozen spinach

        Not you. Think this was a bland and lame recipe.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Seeker19104

          Boston Market's always had modified starch in it when I had it. Yours looks decent, but I'd go for the cream and fresh spinach.

        2. It's an odd recipe. Obviously the onions aren't meant to be caramelized, but 2 cups of milk, 1/4 cup flour seems to be way too thin. The one clove sounds odd, why not just add a bit of grated nutmeg or ground allspice? I think the recipe is definitely at fault.

          2 Replies
          1. re: gourmanda

            It's hard to imagine why it has so many favorable reviews,

            1. re: gourmanda

              I've never had creamed spinach with anything but sweated/softened onion, and I don't think I'd want them carmelized in this dish.

              1. I've never made creamed spinach with onions. Maybe just me, but I've never missed them either. If anything, I'd use onion powder, along with the garlic powder I do use.

                1 cup milk, added to a roux made of:
                2 Tbsp flour
                2 Tbsp butter

                Then add torn spinach for a minute or two, until it wilts. Always fresh spinach or it will never be great! Fresh local if possible, big difference from imported/grocery store type.

                Flavorings: parmesan, garlic powder, white pepper, nutmeg.

                This should not take you more than 5 minutes tops.

                2 Replies
                1. re: coll

                  Coll, this is pretty much what I do also, as noted in my post below, except that I blanch the spinach rather than adding it raw to the béchamel.

                  1. re: masha

                    If you get the spinach from the farm, you can just throw it in; but if from the supermarket it wouldn't hurt to blanch (or a shot in the microwave) to get it started either. I hate using multitudes of pots and pans for side dishes though.

                    I got my recipe from The Happy Cooker, which is from an older era too. Very similar. And as I think of Creamed Spinach as an old fashioned dish, that's where I will park myself!

                2. This method is great, use lots of brown butter & heavy cream. It is more expensive to make than most because it does not use flower or bechamel.

                  Defrost frozen chopped spinach in water
                  Wring out as much water as possible
                  In a large pan melt butter until it foams and is slightly brown (beurre noisette) being careful not to burn
                  Toss in a couple smashed garlic cloves
                  Add spinach and saute a few minutes
                  Add heavy cream & reduce to desired consistency
                  Add salt & pepper & ground nutmeg

                  1 Reply
                  1. I use the Joy of Cooking recipe, which is very simple. This is from memory, but I do not believe the recipe calls for onions. It does call for garlic, but I omit it. I use skim milk or 1/2 & 1/2, because that's what I generally have on hand. It's very basic:
                    blanch spinach, drain thoroughly squeezing out all water & chop
                    make bechamel
                    add spinach, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and stir.