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    Wednesday, March 08, 2017

    Spinach Two Ways

    Spinach Two Ways
    Creamed Cauliflower and Spinach - Perfect Side Dish 
    Fish Spinach and Pasta Bake

     I was multi-tasking
    Cooking up for the next couple of days, these dishes have things in common, so I cooked them at the same time

    Two dishes using Spinach, one as a side dish and the other a full meal
    One using fresh Spinach, one using frozen
    AND by the way...both delicious
    Enough of each, to freeze for later maybe
    These little Spinach balls are great
    I always have frozen spinach, peas and corn in the freezer
    So useful
    The Bake is a good family dish
    So lets attack the Cauliflower dish first 
    This is a side dishes…I paired it with Pan Fried Fish
    But equally good with Grilled Lamb or Beef
    Gluten free too
    It is quite rich, very creamy but slipped down really easily

       Bag of fresh baby spinach
       1 small cauliflower head [cut into florets]
       1 small onion [diced]
       1/2 cup • shredded mozzarella [plus a little more for on top]
        2 tbsp • cream
        1 tbsp • butter [plus a little more for sautéing the onion
        1/2 tsp • nutmeg
        pinch of ground cloves
        salt and pepper

    Bring a medium pot of water to the boil.
    Once it boils rapidly,
    add the cauliflower florets and boil for about 10 minutes till tender
    When the cauliflower is cooked, use a slotted spoon to scoop the florets into a food
    Blitz the cauliflower until smooth with the cream and butter.
    Season with salt and pepper.
     While the cauliflower boils, sauté the onion in a little bit of butter until soft 
    then add the spinach, nutmeg and cloves and cook until wilted.
    Now mix the cauliflower, spinach, onion and cheese together,
    Adjust seasoning if needed, and scoop into a cast iron pan or small baking dish.
    Place in a 180C cook for about 10 minutes
    Then to finish off
    Slide under the broiler until the cheese is golden brown.
    I forgot to put the cheese on top. It was good but would be better with it
    Meanwhile, at the same time  I made a Fish, Spinach Pasta Dish
    Baked in a Cheesy Creamy Béchamel Sauce
    This has a light citrus flavour, due to marinating the fish
    The top, after it bakes is so crunchy and yummy
    Very easy to pick those crispy bits off before you serve
    and I did!!!

    For 4 people
    300 gms Pasta cooked  Penne or shells
    3 cups of prepared Béchamel Sauce
    1/2 cup grated cheese

    1 onion finely diced

    1 tablespoon butter

    8 Balls of Frozen Spinach thawed and all juice squeezed out
    300 gms Hapuka/Groper or any other meaty fish, Monkfish could work
    Zest and Juice of a lemon
    2 Tablespoons of Olive oil
    Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    Grated Cheese for topping

    Sauce onion in a little butter
    Set aside

    Make Béchamel Sauce

    150 gms butter
    120 gms flour
    1 tsp mustard
    Sea salt and white pepper
    1 bay leaf
    6 peppercorns
    3 cups milk

    Make a roux.
    Melt butter in pan
    Add flour and seasoning and mustard
    Mix well to cook flour out
    Heat milk with bay leaf and peppercorns
    Strain and add all at once to roux.
    Whisk well and cook till thickened
    Add cheese
    Set aside

    Cut fish into 1.5 cm cubes
    Place in an non metallic container
    Add Lemon zest, juice, Olive oil and S & P
    Marinate for about 30 minutes just to start the cooking process
    Cook pasta to manufacturers instructions
    Drain and set aside
    Place onion, béchamel and thawed spinach into a large container
    Add pasta, Mix well
    If it is too dry just add some more milk
    mix well, best to be quite thin, the pasta will absorb the sauce

    Place in an oven proof baking dish
    Cover with Grated cheese
    1/2 into the freezer
    Bake at 180C for 25-30 minutes until bubbling and golden on top
    The Crispy bits are so good

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