Make Lazy Creamy Spinach With Melted Cheese
Steakhouses, with their first-class cuts and endless side dishes, have always seemed special to me. Choosing a side dish and salad dressing can seem as important as choosing a steak, and similar decisions need to be made to create a steakhouse atmosphere at home. Baked potatoes are a matter of course, but when you add that quick, completely unsuitable spinach with cream, the dish feels done.
I say totally inappropriate because this is the simplest, most lawless spinach with no ruffles I have ever made. Inspired by spinach in the freezer and Laughing Cow wedges I bought about a week ago, this is a multi-ingredient dish that can be tweaked and tweaked endlessly, very close to “real” in taste.
You can use frozen or fresh spinach, but processed cheese is key; it melts with butter to form a thick, creamy sauce that can be thinned a little with half and half if you so desire. The aforementioned laughing cow wedges work well, but the spicier bursena is even more interesting because it is pre-seasoned with herbs, pepper, and everything else in the bursena. (Dubliner now also makes Laughing Cow-style little wedges, so grab them if you get the chance.) Once the cheese is melted, give it a taste and add garlic powder, fresh pepper, nutmeg, or all three.
To make this dirt bag a delight, you will need:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallots or half onion, diced
- 2 large pinches of salt, halved
- 10 ounces spinach, fresh or frozen (if using fresh or frozen, remove any tough stems; if using frozen, squeeze out as much water as you can before cooking)
- 4 wedges Laughing Cow or 1 pack Boursin
- 1-2 tablespoons half and half (optional)
- Fresh peppers and any other seasonings of your choice
- Grated parmesan
Melt the butter over medium heat and add the shallots or onions when they begin to foam. Season with half the salt, then cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Add spinach and remaining salt. If using fresh, cook until it wilts; If using frozen ones, cook by breaking them with the corner of a wooden spoon until they are warm. Add cheese, stirring continuously, until melted. If it looks like it burns at all, remove the pan from the burner and continue stirring. Add half and half as needed to thicken the sauce, then flavor and add any additional seasonings you like. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with pepper and Parmesan.