13 September 2009

This is another recipe that didn't turn out so well the first time I made it. I made some changes to the recipe and think I can transform it into a yummy spinach side dish. Here's how I'm going to make it next time.

Creamy Parmesan Spinach

3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp onion, finely diced
1 small clove garlic, grated
¼ - ½ cup milk
¼ cup grated Parmesan
1 box frozen spinach, defrosted and drained

Place cream cheese, onions, and garlic in a medium saucepan over low heat. When the cream cheese melts, add ¼ cup milk and parmesan. Stir spinach into sauce, season with a pinch of salt, to taste, if necessary and let the spinach sit over lowest heat possible 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If necessary, add more milk to keep it creamy.

Makes 2 servings.

The original recipe, part of a steak and shrimp meal by Rachael Ray, gave me some problems. First of all, even though it said it served four, it called for 3 boxes of spinach. Three boxes of spinach for 4 people? I like spinach, but three quarters of a box per person seems like a bit much. I was just cooking for myself and Jim, so I used one box of spinach. But that was akward, because then I had to cut the rest of the recipe in thirds. I've cut recipes in half tons of times, but I've never had to cut one into thirds!

So after I got the measurements figured out, I started cooking. It's a really simple recipe. The original called for melting the cream cheese, adding the onion and parmesan, and then stirring in the spinach. Super easy. The only problem was, once I did all that, I didn't end up with Creamy Parmesan Spinach. It was more like Clumpy Parmesan Spinach. I tasted it and the flavor was great, but it looked less than appetizing and the consistency was really off-putting. Long story short, I ended up adding a bunch of milk to thin it out. That kind of "watered" down the flavor a bit, so I added some more parmesan as well.

The clumpy mess I ended up with after following the directions. I added lots of milk and a bit more parmesan to get the spinach you see in the picture at the top of the post.

I apologize that the recipe above doesn't have exact measurements. I'm not sure exactly how much milk it will take to make it actually creamy. And some of it will depend on how creamy you prefer it. When I make it again I will keep track of how much I use and will update the post.

It's kind of coincedental that I made this dish, which didn't turn out so well, the same night I made another dish that was close to being considered a disaster, Sweet Orange Salmon. And both dishes are going to get an overhaul by me! Can't wait to try them again, hopefully with better results.

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