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La Belle Cuisine - More Vegetable Recipes

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Gigi's Creamed Spinach



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Gigi's Creamed Spinach

3 pounds fresh spinach
(if unavailable, use three 12-ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup minced onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup cream
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, or Creole Seasoning, to taste

For Crumb Topping:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8x5-inch ceramic baking dish. Place spinach in heavy large pot. Cover and cook over medium heat until spinach wilts, stirring once or twice, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Squeeze out any excess moisture. If using frozen spinach, simply squeeze out any excess liquid.
Purée about one-third of spinach with milk in food processor. Finely chop remaining spinach.
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over onion, and cook 2 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Pour in cream; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is lightly thickened. Remove from heat and immediately stir in cheese. When melted, stir in puréed spinach and chopped spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into prepared dish.
Sauté breadcrumbs in olive oil until golden, about 8 minutes. Scatter crumbs over spinach mixture. Bake until topping is brown and spinach mixture bubbles, about 20 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 8.

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