As a friend recently pointed out, I cook enough meat to make even Dr. Atkins uneasy. Fair enough. The truth is, I’m a protein first kinda guy, but I love vegetables as well, so I thought it was time to post my current favorite veggie dish: Creamed Spinach with Bacon.
This recipe originated with Emeril Lagasse, but I made some adjustments to fit my palate (i.e. more garlic, bacon fat, and of course, bacon). The original recipe recommended releasing the water from the spinach by pressing in a strainer with the back of a spoon. I’ve never gotten quite enough of the liquid out like that, so prefer to hand squeeze in batches. I’ve also tried steaming, rather than boiling, which works as well. I suppose the point here is that you can wilt the spinach any way you like, just make sure you get all the water out so as not to dilute the creaminess.
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
2 pounds fresh spinach, washed and tough stems removed
2 rashers of bacon
1 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
3 cloves minced garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Drain, and working in batches, squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Coarsely chop and set aside.
Heat a medium saute over medium-high heat. Add bacon and render fat until bacon is crispy. Remove bacon, and crumble. Reserve.
Add the butter to the pan. Once the butter has melted, add the shallots and garlic and stir until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until the liquid is released. Add the cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and cook until the cream is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, top with bacon, and serve immediately.