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Old 04-12-2009, 10:34 AM   #1
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Cooking spinach questions

I rarely eat spinach, since I don't like the taste.. Frankly, I don't even know how to cook it properly..

What do you do with the excess moist when cooking spinach - simply drain it? Or do you keep cooking till all the water is evaporated?

Today I sauteed frozen (organic) spinach together with onions and garlic. I also added Turkish hot pepper paste, and it still didn't taste good. Next time I'll add some cream cheese or something...

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Old 04-12-2009, 10:50 AM   #2
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When I cook spinach, I drain it in a colander & gently press on it with the back of a spoon to get rid of as much extra moisture as possible. I then add it back into the cooking vessel where I've already melted a goodly amount of butter, & usually a goodly amount of chopped garlic. Stir to heat through & then add a dollop of heavy cream to taste & a dash of grated nutmeg. Heat through & serve. Sometimes I'll vary this by also adding some chopped sauteed onion, a few dashed of dry seasoned breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, crumbled feta cheese, etc., etc. - whatever I feel like & happen to have on hand. Some folks also like to add a sieved hardboiled egg. Spinach also responds nicely folded into a cheese sauce.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:54 AM   #3
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Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:15 AM   #4
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When I cook spinach, I first drain off as much water as possible from washing it many times before adding it to the pan. I sauté the spinach in a bit of good olive oil and most times, the water evaporates quickly, because I got rid of most of it before I started cooking. I like to add a couple of cloves of garlic, finely chopped, as well. Season with salt and pepper.

When I am using it to stuff chicken breasts, I blanch it, then stop the cooking in ice water, then wring it out in kitchen towels to get ALL the water out.

Hope this helps.

However, I love spinach. It has been my favorite vegetable since I was three years old!
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:27 AM   #5
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Try sauteing fresh spinach very quickly in little olive oil with some garlic and maybe a bit of crushed red pepper, just until it wilts and before much juice appears. Quickly remove it from the pan and add a bit of salt, pepper, and little lemon juice. Much better than when it's cooked to a soupy mush like canned or frozen spinach.

Or add it raw to salads, which is the best way to eat spinach IMHO.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:37 AM   #6
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As mentioned , the frozen spinach will have more moisture. Usually ill defrost it, squeeze it as dry as i can , before using it.

Ill fry it up with oil, garlic an salt, then mix it in with cooked pasta and feta cheese making a nice pasta salad.

Another thing i do is mix the defrosted spinach with ricotta cheese, a little feta, garlic, onion, dill, salt, pepper and an egg. Then use this as a stuffing to make a calzone.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:41 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies everyone, some good ideas
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:44 AM   #8
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Usually ill defrost it
On the package it says not to defrost
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:58 PM   #9
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I didn't notice that you're using frozen -- my comments were meant for fresh spinach, which is far superior as a vegetable. However, I often use frozen chopped spinach in recipes, such as spinach lasagna, and it's quite good for such things.
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:12 PM   #10
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I ALWAYS have a bag of frozen chopped or whole leaf spinach in the freezer. Always. It's just too versatile not to have on hand at all times.

Makes an excellent "bed" for Chicken, Turkey, or Flounder/Sole Piccata or Francaise style. Adding some crumbled Feta cheese to it makes it an excellent "bed" or accompaniment to Greek-style fish or poultry cutlets as well. And one of my favorite egg dishes involves cooked spinach (frozen makes it SO easy) topped with poached eggs & a lovely Swiss cheese sauce. It also makes a terrific addition to impromptu purchased Indian "simmer sauces", & soups as well.

Best of all - since it's already been blanched, what you see is what you get amount-wise, unlike fresh spinach where a pound cooks down to about 1-1/2 cups - lol!

I'm never without it on hand.

For salads, I'm not fond of the insipid "baby" flat-leaf spinach that dominates the markets these days. While I absolute LOVE a good spinach salad (spinach, hard-cooked eggs, bacon, sliced white button mushrooms, blue cheese), it's only worth it to me if it's made with good old Savoy-leaf spinach, which I grow myself since it's no longer popular.
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:39 PM   #11
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I didn't notice that you're using frozen -- my comments were meant for fresh spinach, which is far superior as a vegetable. However, I often use frozen chopped spinach in recipes, such as spinach lasagna, and it's quite good for such things.
I thought that frozen vegetables were just as good and nutritious. I also eat a lot of frozen mixed vegetables. It tastes good, and I hope it's true that they are just as nutritious as fresh ones.
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:51 PM   #12
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They ARE!! In fact, frozen vegetables quite frequently are even MORE nutritious than fresh. A couple of years ago the New York Times had a very interesting & enlightening article on the subject, along with how many high-end restaurants depend on frozen veggies to put out a high-quality end product.

Items like frozen peas*, SPINACH (lol!), green beans, cubed winter squash, brussel sprouts - & others - were found to be - more than not - more tender & more nutritious than fresh because the frozen product was processed just hours after picking, as opposed to the fresh product, which frequently takes weeks to arrive at your supermarket, losing moisture & vital nutrients along the way.

Obviously this doesn't pertain to veggies you buy from your local farmers market or pick from your own garden.

(*Frozen peas are another necessary ALWAYS standby in my freezer.)
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:16 PM   #13
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Yeah, I have also read articles before that frozen vegetables are as good as fresh vege.
My favorite way of cooking spinach is to saute it with garlic, pine nuts and dried cranberries. Simply delicious!
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:22 PM   #14
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They ARE!! In fact, frozen vegetables quite frequently are even MORE nutritious than fresh. A couple of years ago the New York Times had a very interesting & enlightening article on the subject, along with how many high-end restaurants depend on frozen veggies to put out a high-quality end product.

Items like frozen peas*, SPINACH (lol!), green beans, cubed winter squash, brussel sprouts - & others - were found to be - more than not - more tender & more nutritious than fresh because the frozen product was processed just hours after picking, as opposed to the fresh product, which frequently takes weeks to arrive at your supermarket, losing moisture & vital nutrients along the way.

Obviously this doesn't pertain to veggies you buy from your local farmers market or pick from your own garden.

(*Frozen peas are another necessary ALWAYS standby in my freezer.)
Thanks BreezyCooking.
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:36 PM   #15
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my first choice is using fresh spinach in a salad, but when I cook it, I like a creamed spinach and a spinach soup, add a bit of nutmeg to both. Frozen spinach works well when creamed or in a soup.
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:00 PM   #16
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Have you ever tried a spinach Lasagna ? spinach with a little bit of olive oil, garlic and ricotta !
It is really delicious !
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argamemnon View Post
I thought that frozen vegetables were just as good and nutritious. I also eat a lot of frozen mixed vegetables. It tastes good, and I hope it's true that they are just as nutritious as fresh ones.
Fresh is usually superior in taste, assuming the fruit or vegetable is properly ripened and in good condition. However, there's no significant difference in nutrition. Read this.
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Old 04-12-2009, 05:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YourDietitian View Post
Have you ever tried a spinach Lasagna ? spinach with a little bit of olive oil, garlic and ricotta !
It is really delicious !
Sounds good.
Quote:
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Fresh is usually superior in taste, assuming the fruit or vegetable is properly ripened and in good condition. However, there's no significant difference in nutrition. Read this.
Thank you Scotch.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:27 PM   #19
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i chopped bacon and cook it in frying pan till crisp, remove and drain it. to pan i add olive oil and garlic. i saute the garlic just till soft and fragrant. i then add potato diced small, some chopped banana peppers (the ones in vinegar) and a box of frozen spinach without draining (the liquid helps cook the potatoes), cover till the potatoes are cooked. when the potatoes are cooked i add the crumbled bacon. i serve with crusty bread to dip in the juice (spinach juice has lots of vitamins in it).
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:05 PM   #20
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Fresh is usually superior in taste, assuming the fruit or vegetable is properly ripened and in good condition. However, there's no significant difference in nutrition. Read this.
Ah - and there is the rub ... produce picked for transport across the country, or to another country, is picked before its prime. Produce intended for freezing is generally picked within about 12-hours of processing at it's "peak of freshness" - which explains why frozen most often taste better than "fresh". Produce that is available locally freshly picked from the garden is definately superior in taste and freshness.
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