Culinary SOS: Creamed spinach

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Dear SOS: I’m looking for a good creamed spinach recipe like you would find at Lawry’s, Morton’s or the rest of the fine steak and prime rib restaurants. I can take the fat, so please don’t go low-cal on me. Please let me know if you find one.

Mike Joyce

Diamond Bar


Dear Mike: Lawry’s was happy to share its recipe for creamed spinach, combining fresh spinach with a rich base of bacon, scallion, onion and more than a hint of garlic, making for a wonderfully hearty take on this classic dish. It’s great served on its own, and is a perfect side dish alongside a great steak or slab of prime rib.

Creamed spinach

Total time: About 1 hour

Servings: 6 to 8

Note: Adapted from Lawry’s the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills.

Spinach base

1/2 pound smoked bacon, finely chopped

1 bunch (about 10 small) green onions, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

1. In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon over medium-high heat until browned and crisp, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes.

2. To the pan, stir in the green onion, onion, chopped garlic, salt and pepper and simmer, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in the butter, then puree the mixture in a blender. (The base can be made ahead of time to this point and covered and refrigerated. Reheat before using.)

Creamed spinach

Spinach base

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups milk

3/4 cup half and half

2 pounds spinach, cleaned and chopped

1. Heat the spinach base in a large skillet over medium heat until warm. Gradually whisk in the flour until fully incorporated. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to cook out the flour taste, stirring frequently.

2. While the base is heating, scald the milk in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat but keep warm on the stove.

3. When the flour is cooked, whisk in the hot milk and half and half, mixing thoroughly. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thickened to a cream sauce consistency, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in the spinach, a little at a time, until all is added. Continue to cook until the creamed spinach begins to bubble, about 10 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and serve immediately. This makes about 4 1/2 cups creamed spinach.

Each of 8 servings: 261 calories; 9 grams protein; 14 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 19 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 38 mg. cholesterol; 4 grams sugar; 624 mg. sodium.