Citizens – what else can I add to this?
It’s creamed spinach. Steakhouse-style. Made the way TFD believes the Almighty intended – with zero compromises and full of calories, a totally delicious side dish served with a medium-rare porterhouse steak! 😀
Interestingly, this is the true story and origin of the creamed spinach version served at the seminal steakhouse chain, and home of the world’s best fillet mignon – Ruth’s Chris! As noted on nola.com:
This year, also, we know more about the creamed spinach recipe, thanks to the highly entertaining Randy Fertel biography of his parents, “The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak,” released last year and now in its third printing.
Like many Louisiana dishes, the creamed spinach is a link in the local culinary past.
His mother never told anyone, but a cousin informed Randy Fertel that the recipe was that of his great-uncle Martin. His mother, born Ruth Ann Udstad, was from an Alsatian family in Happy Jack in lower Plaquemines Parish.
Fertel elaborated on Uncle Martin in an interview with Elsa Hahn and Off Beat magazine: “Uncle Martin was a survivor of World War I, and he was a great cook. He got shot in his belly in the trenches and swore to his maker that if he ever got out of there, he’d never marry. So he lived with his mother, grandmere. He was a typical Delta guy who fished and planted rice, he was a farmer, and his mother spoke no English.
“It’s hard to understand today how totally French that Delta culture was.”
Truly, no more need be said. I’ve added a bit of minced parsley and chives to brighten the flavor of my creamed spinach recipe, but otherwise this is a resolutely traditional recipe!
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons melted bacon fat from 4 slices soft-cooked bacon (mince and reserve bacon)
- 2 medium shallots, finely minced (about ½ cup)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, finely minced or grated on a Microplane (about 2 teaspoons)
- 2 pounds spinach, trimmed, washed, and drained
- ½ cup minced fresh parsley
- ¼ cup minced fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ cup store-bought or homemade crème fraîche
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 ounces Parmigiano cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
- Cut off the thick stems of the spinach and discard. Clean the spinach by filling up your sink with water and soaking the spinach to loosen any sand or dirt. Drain the spinach and then repeat soaking and draining.
- Melt the butter and bacon fat in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach, parsley and chives in four batches, turning each batch with tongs or a rubber spatula and allowing it to wilt before adding the next.
- Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until no dry flour remains. Slowly stir in the heavy cream and milk. Bring to a simmer, stirring, then reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is completely softened and the sauce has thickened, about 1 ½ hours.
- Stir in the nutmeg and crème fraîche, add in ½ the bacon and season to taste with salt (not too much!) and pepper. Remove from the heat.
- Preheat the broiler to high. Transfer the creamed spinach to a 1-quart oval or round casserole dish and top it with the Parmigiano. Broil until the spinach is bubbly and the cheese has formed a well-browned crust, about 2 minutes. Serve and garnish with remaining minced bacon.
- Calories: 637.13 kcal
- Sugar: 6.82 g
- Sodium: 997.62 mg
- Fat: 54.01 g
- Saturated Fat: 31.78 g
- Trans Fat: 0.12 g
- Carbohydrates: 19.79 g
- Fiber: 6.31 g
- Protein: 23.79 g
- Cholesterol: 164.36 mg
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