Monday, November 12, 2012

Creamed spinach for breakfast

Every day we face a big question at the Tiny House, one that I'm sure that you, dear reader(s?) face on occasion:  'What's for dinner'?

I don't think it's a secret that Biff and I like to cook, so the big question determines how we spend a fair chunk of our evening.  In general, I don't mind time in the kitchen, as cooking often results in the house smelling great and of course you get something to eat when everything is done.  It's the clean up I don't much care for, but that's why kids were invented, right?

Last night's 'what to eat' was a sirloin tip roast, roasted potatoes and onions, and creamed spinach.  All done from scratch, and the meal worked so well together that I thought I'd share a couple of recipes.

First, the roast.  I'd never done a sirloin tip roast before, so had to do a little homework.  What resulted was a method that combined a few different takes on how to prepare that roast, and it really turned out.  I had a 3.5-pound roast that was about 2 inches thick.  I seasoned the roast with a combination of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and chili powder, then seared both sides for 3 minutes in hot oil.  The roast then was sealed in an aluminum foil packet (also homemade!) and baked for 2.5 hours at 275F.  We let it sit for 20 minutes before opening up and carving.  There was a fabulous au jus in the foil that really worked well with the meat (as one would expect).  Pretty simple, really.

The potatoes/onion thing is super simple.  Dice an onion, one washed and unpeeled russet potato and one peeled sweet potato, season with salt and pepper and toss with a generous splash of olive oil.  Roast at 400F (I used the toaster oven) for 40 minutes, turning once.

The spinach was a fun twist on a more work-intensive recipe used by a famous food blogger (The Pioneer Woman)  that, while perhaps not as flavorful as hers (no onion and garlic), worked for this meal because I wanted something creamy, green, and mild to serve as a counterpoint to the bold flavors of the meat and potatoes.  In a medium pot, I melted 2 Tbsp butter, then added 2 c frozen spinach, covered, and let the spinach thaw, turning occasionally.    A little S&P at this stage doesn't hurt, as well as a tsp of white vinegar.  Then I added a slurry of 1 Tbsp flour and 1 C milk, let that come to temperature, then added (secret ingredient!) 1 ounce of light cream cheese.  Let the cheese melt over a fairly boisterous bubble, cook for 5 mins, stirring often, and it's ready to serve.  The thing I like about this is that no roux was needed, no chopping either, and the cream cheese gives the dish a lovely mouthfeel without being too heavy.

I KNOW, recipe posts are boring, but y'all should give these simple dishes a shot.  Home cooking rules!

Hey, you should thank me for the recipes.  I WAS going to post about my church experience yesterday, which was great, and interesting, and all contrasty and stuff.  But then I figured 'hey, everyone eats' so I went for the popular vote today.  :)

Tiff out.

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