IMPERIAL CREAMED SPINACH

IMPERIAL CREAMED SPINACH

A basic white sauce flavored with garlic, tarragon and nutmeg folded into fresh cooked, squeezed spinach, sauteed mushroom and sweet roasted pepper. The empress of all creamed spinach!

Makes 4-3/4 cups

Spinach:

2, 16 oz. bags fresh spinach

Place spinach in about 3 inches of boiling water in extra-large pot. Submerge and stir till wilted, then cook just a couple minutes.

Drain in colander immediately, place in tofu towel twisting and squeezing to remove all excess liquid. Or, press with fists against colander to remove liquid, then form into a ball and continue squeezing to remove as much liquid as you can. Set aside.

Sauce: Makes 2-1/3 cups

4 T. margarine

16 oz. Rich’s Coffee Rich Non-Dairy Creamer (original), full strength – richwhip.com

1 t. salt

1 t. dry mustard

1 t. dried tarragon

tiny dash ground nutmeg

1/8 t. red cayenne pepper

freshly ground black pepper

3/4 c. water mixed with 1/3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour in jar with tight-fitting lid, and shaken till completely dissolved and smooth

In small saucepan, over low heat, melt margarine.

Add non-dairy creamer, salt, dry mustard, tarragon, nutmeg, red cayenne pepper and a little black pepper. Stir well, then raise heat to medium and cook, stirring often, till very hot.

Add liquid flour mixture, stirring continuously till thickened. Return heat to low, and cook about 4-5 minutes, stirring almost continuously, being careful not to scorch bottom. Set aside.

Saute:

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

16 oz. white button mushrooms, sliced

1 t. salt

freshly ground black pepper

5 peeled garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 lg. sweet red roasted peppers, cut into 1/2-3/4 inch squares

In extra-large skillet, over medium heat, melt olive oil. Add mushrooms, salt and a little black pepper. Saute till wilted.

Add garlic, then saute till mushrooms are golden browned.

Add roasted peppers. Stir well, and saute 3-5 minutes or till there’s no liquid in the skillet. Set aside.

Assembly:

Keep the sauce, spinach and saute separate till you’re ready to serve.

When ready, add the spinach to the sauteed veggies in the skillet. Turn heat to medium. Separate the spinach leaves with your fingers, then cut with large spoon as you evenly distribute them throughout the mushrooms and peppers. Cook till hot.

Reheat the sauce over medium-low heat, whisking with wire whisk till smooth. Pour sauce into skillet. Stir well. Heat till very hot and serve.

Serve as a side dish, or over baked potatoes, tossed with pasta, over rice, or to top a veggie burger or veggie chicken patty.

Notes: This creamed spinach is served best just after the assembly of all the components: spinach, saute, sauce. If you want to make the components ahead, that’s fine, just keep them separate till ready to serve. When reheating the creamed spinach the next day, the spinach leaves become darker, as does the cream sauce. Spinach is delicate and breaks down easily.

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