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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Creamed Greens

This recipe works for any type of cooked green...kale, chard, spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens, even collards as long as they're fully cooked first.  This is how I get leftover cooked greens eaten at my house...they go like gangbusters the first night, but tend to linger as leftovers so I recreate them as creamed greens.

The best recipe I've ever had for creamed spinach was a Barefoot Contessa colossus of cream, butter, cheese, more cheese and a lot of salt.  I do love creamy goodness, but not like that every day.  Using milk instead of cream, less cheese, less salt and less butter still produces a yummy dish.  If you want to lighten the sauce further, you could substitute some cooking liquid from the greens for some of the milk.

You can make this ahead up to the point of baking (it will probably take a little longer to brown if the dish is coming out of the fridge) or if you make the sauce and greens at dinnertime, you could skip the parmesan and further baking and just serve it out of the saucepan.

Creamed Greens
Makes 4-6 servings 

1 1/2 lbs.-2 lbs. greens, trimmed and washed (or about 1-2 cups cooked greens)
2 portions beurre manié or 2 tbsp butter mashed with 2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup milk
pinch of salt
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
2 tbsp parmesan (optional)

If you have fresh greens, chop them coarsely and put them in a microwave safe bowl.  Add a few tbsp water and cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave for 4 minutes, then check them.  If they're not wilted, nuke them a couple minutes longer.  Drain the greens, pressing hard on them to get as much water out as you can.  Let them cool a bit, then chop them finely.  Drain again, pressing hard again to get them as dry as possible.

Meanwhile, melt beurre manié in a small ovenproof saucepan.  Cook 1 minute.  Whisk in cajun seasoning and nutmeg.  Whisk in milk slowly.  Cook over medium about 5 minutes until thick and bubbly.  Add cheese and salt.  Stir until melted.  Stir in greens.  (You can serve now if you wish or fridge/freeze).

To bake, thaw if necessary.  Remember to let a cold glass baking dish warm up before putting it in the oven.  Sprinkle with parmesan.  Bake 30 minutes at 400F until lightly browned on top. Pin It

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