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Ruth's Chris Creamed Spinach

Bechamel Sauce: 
1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
2 T. chopped onion
1 clove
1 small bay leaf
1/4 t. salt
2 C. half-and-half or whole milk

1 lb. fresh spinach, well cleaned and stemmed
salt and fresh pepper, to taste
2 T. butter, softened

In small saucepan, melt the 1/2 cup butter over medium heat until foamy. Add flour and cook, stirring, until light brown in color.

Add onion, clove, bay leaf and salt, and then whisk in half-and-half or milk, stirring until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes.

Pass sauce through a fine strainer and reserve. The sauce will be very thick.

Cook spinach by immersing in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and plunge in ice water to cool.

Squeeze spinach until very dry and puree in a food processor. Set aside.

Just before serving, combine the sauce with the pureed spinach and cook on low heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Finish by stirring in the 2 tablespoons softened butter.

Makes 4 (4-ounce) servings.

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