This past year I worked on a cookbook with the chef Todd English.
This past year I worked on a cookbook with the chef Todd English. Cooking with him in his home kitchen was one of those "pinch me" moments in life: I couldn't believe I had access to such an amazing chef and teacher. I learned a great deal, and I'd like to believe I taught Todd a thing or two as well. This recipe is one of them! I invented this recipe to show him how I get my children to eat their spinach! (Thank you Todd, for the cheese cracker topping and addition of raisins, both of which make this recipe even more appealing to picky eaters.)
Frozen spinach, 1 (16-oz.) package frozen leaf thawed
Yellow onion, 1 cup diced
Olive oil, 4 Tbsp.
Raisins, 1⁄2 cup
Dry mustard, 1⁄2 tsp.
Long-grain rice, 4 cups cooked
Unsalted butter, 1⁄4 cup
All-purpose flour, 1⁄4 cup
Kosher salt, 1⁄2 tsp.
Milk, 2 cups
Cream cheese, 1 (3-oz.) package softened
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, 1⁄2 cup shredded
Cheddar cheese, 1 1⁄2 cups (6 oz.) shredded
Fish-shaped Cheddar cheese crackers, 1 1⁄2 cups
Unsalted butter, 2 Tbsp. melted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain spinach well, pressing between paper towels. Chop spinach.
2. Cook onion in hot oil in a medium-size sauté pan over medium heat, stirring often, 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in raisins, dry mustard, and spinach, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes, breaking up spinach as you stir. Remove from heat, add rice, and stir until blended.
3. Melt 1⁄4 cup butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat; whisk in flour and salt until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, 3 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in cream cheese, and cook 2 minutes or until melted. Remove from heat, and stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese until smooth.
4. Stir together cheese sauce and spinach mixture. Let cool 1 to 3 minutes, and stir in Cheddar cheese. Pour into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish, and spread in an even layer.
5. Place crackers in a zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal bag, and crush crackers using a rolling pin into pea-size pieces. Pour into a bowl, and stir in 2 Tbsp. melted butter. Sprinkle cracker mixture over spinach mixture in baking dish.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until topping is crunchy and mixture is thoroughly heated. 8 servings
Amanda Haas is a cookbook author, cooking video host, and the founder of One Family One Meal, a website that helps families menu plan, grocery shop, and cook on a budget. Her latest writing collaboration is with renowned chef Todd English. The book, Cooking in Everyday English , is now available on Amazon and is loaded with family-friendly recipes. Amanda’s own One Family One Meal cookbook will be released in the fall of 2012.
Image Source: via Tood English
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