Category Archives: spinach

Spinach Turnovers, yeah they’re French

A few years ago someone secretly slipped a burned DVD under my door. I popped it in the player and I found out it was all of the episodes of Julia Child’s The French Chef. Not to look fortune in the mouth I immediately made this dish and then just as immediately forgot about it. If you’re looking for an impressive dinner that is different and fun, this one is for you. Don’t get intimidated. If this is too confusing here is Julia herself doing it.


Side note: Always check your oven before turning it on. The day before making this I had a thanksgiving party and someone thought it would be hilarious to put a plastic turkey in my oven. Well it was hilarious but I had to quickly move dinner to Kris and Laurels house as black smoke was emanating from my oven.batterjunkie-11
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Ingredients:
Pastry for 2 – 9” crusts, (unbleached pastry flour)
9 -12oz. fresh spinach, washed (Yield 2 cups blanched, drained- squeezed dry, chopped)
 4 oz. fresh white small mushrooms, quartered
½ cup diced small prosciutto
1 TBSP butter
Sauce Bouillée:
1 medium onion, diced
1/4  cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 and 2/3 cup hot milk
1 egg
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
For Cream Sauce:
Remaining Sauce Bouillée
1/2 cup or more cream or milk
Salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
Glaze:
2 eggs separated save the yolks
1 tsp. water
Wash the spinach and plunge into a large kettle of boiling water for about 2 minutes. Then immediately toss it into cold water. Squeeze the water out, dry it between towels and chop it finely. You need at least 2 cups of spinach toss in a large sauce pot.
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In a fry pan sauté, thinly slice mushrooms  and prosciutto with 1 TBSP butter until tender. Set it aside.
In a sauce pan sauté onion over low heat in 1/4 cup butter until translucent. Take out half of the onion and throw it in the saucepan with the spinach. (this will make sense later)
For Sauce Bouillée:
Add the flour to the remaining onion and cook the roux over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Whisk in the hot milk a little at a time. This sauce is going to be THICK, just how you like it. Take the pan off the heat and beat in an eggSalt and pepper to taste and add a pinch of nutmeg. Put about a 1/2 cup of the sauce in with the spinach and onion in the other saucepan. Mix together over low heat for about a minute. Set aside.
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For Cream Sauce:
Stir 1/2  cup or more of cream into remaining Sauce Bouillée until it is thinned to a sauce consistency. Simmer for about 10 minutes stirring slowly. Remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with a bit of the Gruyère and let it melt a bit, then stir it in. Set aside and when we are ready to serve we’ll warm it over low heat and stir in the rest of the Gruyère. 
To assemble the pastry:
Now you’ve got the parts lets make a long pie! Roll the dough into a 10” by 15″ rectangle about 1/4″ thick. Trim the edges so that it is even and square, saving cut scraps. Lay the dough on a lightly floured surface. Beat egg yolk with 1 tsp of water and glaze the pastry with the mixture.
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Spread half the spinach mixture on 1/3 of the pastry lengthwise. Keep a 1/2” edge bare so you can seal it. Place mushrooms and prosciutto on top then spread remaining spinach over mushroom mixture forming another layer.
Fold the pastry up and over and seal the edges with your fingers, then press with tines of fork.
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Place on greased baking sheet and cut pastry scraps into strips. Glaze turnover with an egg glaze of 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water. Decorate with strips laying them on a diagonal or leave them off if you ain’t that fancy. Trim edges that hang over. Glaze again with your egg mixture. Press all of the edges with a fork.
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Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned and crisp.
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Slide it onto a board to cut diagonally. Now add the rest of the Gruyère and warm up the cream sauce. Pour a healthy dollop over each slice of turnover.
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Serve that mamma jamma hot to happy people!batterjunkie-2
Enjoy!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Garlic Spinach

Hello friendly Batter Junkies. Today I made a meal with a friend of mine who wanted to keep the cholesterol to a minimum and thusly this lovely seasonal meal was born. Sweet Potatoes are a nice fall-ish flavor while the Garlic Spinach gives the meal some depth. We also made a nice salad to go with. It’s just been that kind of day. So if you’ve been chokin’ down too many burgers or licking sticks of butter like a sneaky kid at fat camp, this is the meal for you. Impossibly, we found the Baked Sweet Potato recipe from Paula Deen. This may be the only thing she’s ever made that doesn’t involve copious amounts of butter.

Ingredients Sweet Potatoes:
5 large Sweet Potatoes
3 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP chopped fresh garlic or garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Ingredients Garlic Spinach:
1 and 1/2 lbs washed, fresh Spinach
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP chopped garlic
1/2 onion chopped
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 lemon
1 TBSP unsalted butter

Ok ya’ll preheat that there oven to 450 F (230 C).  (Make sure to read this with a thick Paula Deen-ish southern drawl) Then git yer sweet pataters and peel um, cut um into 1/4 inch slices and then slice those into 1/4 inch fries.

Batterjunkie-7950Toss all them slices in a giant bowl with a half a stick of butt…OOPS! I mean 3 Tablespoons of olive oil. Mix um around until fully coated. Then sprinkle the pepper, salt, garlic and cayenne over the fries and mix again.

Batterjunkie-7951Now arrange them on a baking sheet (flatten them out so there are none on top of one and other) and pop um in the oven just as fast as Paula Deen lost her job.

Batterjunkie-7952Bake them for about 25 minutes. While doing that start on the Spinach!

In a large pot, we used a Dutch Oven because the Dutch don’t get enough airtime really, place the olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook them for just a minute or two and toss in the spinach.

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Using a wooden spoon or really any utensil of your choice (I recommend against your hand) stir the spinach for about 2 minutes and then put the lid on it. This will wilt the spinach. Add salt and pepper and stir for another minute or two until completely wilted.

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Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on it and serve. We did not place a pat of butter on top but to each his or her own. Also, we made a green salad to go along with, sheer genius really.

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Enjoy.

 

 

North Indian style Spinach Chicken

I know, I know. March was sadly the first month since the start of the blog (over a year ago now) that I did not post a recipe. It turns out the whole full time job thing just changes everything. Excuses. On to the stuff you care about.
 
So here is a recipe that is easy and amazing. For the purest Indian food connoisseurs this may be a Sunset magazine bastardization of a traditional food but, sweet mother, is it tasty! Beth, O Beth you always bring such lovely things into my life notwithstanding yourself. Beth, Rana, Meg (incidentally three of my favorite people) and I all made this one night and it left us all with smiles. Maybe that was the wine but I think that this dish had at least a passing influence on the success of our night.

Ingredients:

3 tsp saffola or canola oil (any veggie oil will work)
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
225 grams (8oz) crimini or button mushrooms (sliced)
1 large onion (chopped)
2 inch long piece of ginger (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 tsp ground coriander (if you don’t have this I just throw in more cilantro they’re from the same plant!)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayanne pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
600 grams (1 and 1/2 lbs) chicken breast (cut into 1 inch chunks)
1 cup of canned, diced tomatoes
450 grams (1 lb) baby spinach
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 a bunch of cilantro
Also, don’t forget to make some rice.

Ok so first start by getting 3 hot young ladies! Check! Then you toss some of that oil in a pot and drop in the fenugreek seeds for about 2 seconds. “What the hell is feungreek?” I hear you say. Only the warrior monks of a hidden Chinese fishing village know but they’re not telling. Regardless it adds a nice flavor. Don’t let them get too lonely (the ladies or the seeds). Now gets to sauteing the onions and add those mushrooms right in there.

 Stir that mixture around for about 7 minutes. During this time I would suggest flirting with the ladies, perhaps telling a funny story or throwing down some dance moves. However you work your groove…

At this point add the ginger, garlic, coriander, salt, cumin, cayanne and turmeric to the pot. Then add in the cut chicken and stir until it is no longer pink on the outside. Then add the tomatoes and cover the pot, simmering for about 8 minutes.

Take this time, once again to regale the ladies with a heroic tale of when you fought off a bear with a spoon while camping in Zimbabwe.

At this point stir in the spinach, lemon juice and cilantro and you’re done. But that’s just where we got started!

Serve it up with your favorite wine or beverage.

Happy
Ladies
Three!
Enjoy!