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LOOKING for: easy frozen spinach: how to improve?

Posted by linnea56 (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 16, 07 at 19:05

OK, I know this will sound pathetic to all you cooks out there...but I'm secure in my anonymity here.

In my ongoing search to add more dark green vegetables to my diet (in the dead of winter), how can I improve frozen spinach? As a kid I loved it right out of the box: Mom would put the whole block covered with water in a pan until it was no longer frozen, break it up, boil it briefly, press it in a strainer to remove the water, then plunk it in a bowl and add a pat of butter. We all loved it. Popeye was our hero.

I tried doing it is a similar way, steaming it in the microwave, but it was kind of bitter. I'm not looking for something fancy or for guests (my family won't touch it, fresh or frozen): just something I can eat by myself as a side dish. I bought it loose in a bag, frozen.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: LOOKING for: easy frozen spinach: how to improve?

Try steaming it just until wilted. Then wring it out in a towel until as dry as you can make it.

Drop it into a dry skillet, and cook, stirring constantly, until all moisture is evaporated. Chop finer if necessary. Set spinach aside.

In the skillet melt a couple tbls butter and gently saute some mashed garlic just until it starts to change color. Return spinach to skillet and toss until it's coated with the garlic butter and heated through.


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RE: LOOKING for: easy frozen spinach: how to improve?

My method of handling frozen spinach is:
1. I dump one or two packages into a stainless steel wire sieve and let hot water from the spigot run over it until alsmost completely thawed. Any frozen clumps left I break up with my fingers.
2. Follow cooking instructions for "top of stove" given on package, but cook for only one-half of time mentioned. Drain off the water. If spinach is whole leaf, give it a rough chop.
3. In another pan I melt a chunk of butter with a bit of olive oil. Add coarsely cut onion (maybe one-half onion or whole one...depends on what you like), and one or two mashed garlic cloves. Cook until onion is transparent. Add spinach to this mix and saut together for a couple of minutes.
4. Add about one-half cup milk, and in a separate jar put some more milk and a tablespoon (or so, of AP flour) Shake well til there are no lumps of flour and add to spinach/onion mix. Cook; as the sauce and spinach begin to thicken, season with salt/pepper and a bit of nutmeg. If it thickens too much, ad a splash more of milk.

For a change you can use some cornstarch and water (instead of milk/flour). Add some lemon juice. This will give a piquant flavor to the spinach.


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RE: LOOKING for: easy frozen spinach: how to improve?

If the spinach is loose in a bag, not in a frozen block, that meant it was flash frozen without being cooked....and needs very little cooking. If it was bitter, that's not the fault of your cooking but of the spinach...likely old when frozen.
I treat the loose bag of spincah like I do fresh. I cook it in a wok. I put a couple of T. of olive oil in a wok....turn the heat on warm and add some chopped garlic...keep warm for 3 or 4 minutes so as to infise the oil with the garlic flavor....turn up the heat, fill the wok with the spinach and keep tossing until all is cooked. Sprinkle with kosher salt, lemon and pass Parmesan cheese when plating.
Linda C


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RE: LOOKING for: easy frozen spinach: how to improve?

Creamed spinach

2 packages frozen spinach, (10 oz each)
6 ounces cream cheese, softened ^^I use fat free
1/2 cup butter, melted, divided
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Dash of nutmeg: optional
PREPARATION:
Thaw spinach and press or squeeze to remove excess water. Grease a casserole dish and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach, cream cheese, and 1/4 cup of melted butter and nutmeg.
Spoon into casserole dish.

Toss remaining butter with breadcrumbs and add to top of casserole
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Serves 4.


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RE: LOOKING for: easy frozen spinach: how to improve?

Mmmmm! I'm not embarrassed for asking any more! Looks like garlic is a magic elixir here. And I love it creamed spinach: Mom used to make it creamed too, but I never noticed how it was done. Thanks!


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RE: LOOKING for: easy frozen spinach: how to improve?

I don't usually buy frozen spinach unless a recipe specifically calls for it. Even though DH won't eat it, I buy the large bags of fresh spinach at Costco. I've just experimented with cooking and freezing it and freezing it uncooked. Both ways worked out well but it takes more space to freeze it while fresh (and of course it's all wilty when it thaws). My method of cooking fresh spinach is to put it in a hot skillet with a tiny bit of water or no water even. It wilts very quickly. Then you can cool it and store it in portions in plastic bags or containers. When thawed it can be put back into a skillet and seasoned any way you want. I like it with variations of butter, butter and cream, garlic, olive oil, or balsamic vinegar. Anyway, from now on I'm not going to be terrorized by a huge bag of spinach that goes bad fairly quickly. I'll use some of it fresh and then cook the rest and have it when I want it.


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RE: LOOKING for: easy frozen spinach: how to improve?

Want one more?
SKILLET SPINACH (serves 3-4)
2 TBL butter
1 TBL flour
1 TBL grated onion
2 cups frozen or cooked fresh spinach
3 eggs
1/2 cup grated Cheddar
Salt & pepepr to taste

In a skillet, melt the butter; stir in the flour & onion. Cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring for 5 minuts or until lightly browned. Add frozen spinach, broken into chunks & cook it over moderate heat until thawed. If using cooked fresh spinach, heat & stir until thoroughly hot. Beat the eggs lightly & stir in. Add the cheese, salt & pepper & cook 5 minutes longer or until the eggs are set & the cheese is melted.~~Home Cookin'


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RE: LOOKING for: easy frozen spinach: how to improve?

I don't recall who posted this but I have made it several times and it is quite nice.
Spinach Cheese Bake
1# small curd cottage cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1c cheddar cheese, grated
3T butter, cut into bits
1 Pk frozen spinach, thawed and drained
3T flour
Salt to taste
Combine cottage cheese, eggs, cheese and butter
Add remaining ingredients. Stir well
Place in buttered baking dish 2" deep (6x8)
Bake at 350 for 45-60 Min.
I add a squirt of lemon juice.


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RE: LOOKING for: easy frozen spinach: how to improve?

My spinach will never be plain again! I can see eating it 3 times a week now.

roselin32, what size package of frozen spinach?


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RE: LOOKING for: easy frozen spinach: how to improve?

We only get the 10oz packages here so that is what I use.
RL`


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RE: LOOKING for: easy frozen spinach: how to improve?

Altho you asked for sides, here's my son's favorite spinach dish.

Put two 10 oz packs of frozen spinach in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add a 1-lb package of egg noodles and cook till noodles are done. Drain. Add grated cheese -- cheddar, jack, whatever kind you have/like. I don't know how much I put in, but enough to make it pretty cheesy. Add some cottage cheese to that and mix.

I also use fr spinach in omelets/fritatas. I love spinach and so do my kids, but I don't like to eat it plain. I like it mixed in or cooked in or baked in. I think the flavor is enhanced when it's in with other stuff.


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RE: LOOKING for: easy frozen spinach: how to improve?

Easy and Yummy recipe that is great with frozen spinach is as follows:

Pasta - Penne 1/2 a pack
1 frozen spinach pack
2 tbsp of olive oil
10 cloves of garlic chopped (it's a lot but yes you need this much)
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup of parmesean cheese
salt to taste

Bring water to a boil. When it boils add the salt, pasta and spinach to it. Let it boil until the pasta is aldente. Strain in a colander.

In a pan, add the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until it's nice and golden. Now add the pasta with spinach and stir to combine. Add 1/4 cup of parmesean cheese and stir.

Place in serving bowls, sprinkle with more cheese. Goes well with a simple side salad and some crusty bread.


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RE: LOOKING for: easy frozen spinach: how to improve?

Easy and Yummy recipe that is great with frozen spinach is as follows:

Pasta - Penne 1/2 a pack
1 frozen spinach pack
2 tbsp of olive oil
10 cloves of garlic chopped (it's a lot but yes you need this much)
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup of parmesean cheese
salt to taste

Bring water to a boil. When it boils add the salt, pasta and spinach to it. Let it boil until the pasta is aldente. Strain in a colander.

In a pan, add the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until it's nice and golden. Now add the pasta with spinach and stir to combine. Add 1/4 cup of parmesean cheese and stir.

Place in serving bowls, sprinkle with more cheese. Goes well with a simple side salad and some crusty bread.


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RE: LOOKING for: easy frozen spinach: how to improve?

spinach is served a thousand different ways . i have a very inexpensive way to improve just plain frozen spinach.hard boils 4-5 eggs,when cooled cut the eggs up in small chuncks and mix into the spinach.
adds just enough flavor to make plain frozen spinach into a very unique side dish


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