Friday, April 29, 2011

Creamed Spinach with Toasted Panko-Bacon Breadcrumbs

Mike wanted to have steak for dinner and since he is the grill master, I told him I would come up with a side dish.   For whatever reason, I really wanted spinach and when I pulled the steak out of the freezer I saw bacon.  Bacon and spinach...yum!  I spent the entire day at work coming up with this recipe in my head.  I know, it is pathetic.  What I came up with sounded really good in theory, but I was scared about the outcome.  I shouldn't have been, it was WONDERFUL!

What you Need:
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 1 medium onion (I used yellow) diced
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 carton of sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 c half and half
  • 1/2 skim milk (or whatever you typically have)
  • 2 bags of spinach (about 12 oz total)
  • 1/2 c Parmesan
  • salt and pepper

Start by browning bacon in a large, high walled sautee pan.

When bacon is completely browned, pull it out and let it drain on a paper towel.  Leave the bacon fat in the pan!

Add your cut onions and garlic to the bacon fat.  You can dice them or cut them into slivers (that's what I did).

Stir in the mushrooms and cook until the onions are soft and the mushrooms are cooked through.

Add 2 tbs of flour, stir and cook for 2 minutes.

Slowly add in the half and half and the milk.  Let the mixture thicken for about 5 minutes.

Add in your spinach.  You have to do it in batches, working to wilt the spinach.  Work the liquids around the spinach and before you know it, they wilt to a quarter of their original size.

Once all the spinach is wilted, add in the Parmesan cheese. 

Stir to combine.

In a separate pan, add a tsp of butter and melt over medium heat.  When the butter is melted add in the Panko bread crumbs to toast.

When you see the bread crumbs start to brown, add the bacon in to reheat. 

To serve you can either place a serving of spinach on the plate and top with the toasted breadcrumb mixture (the easy way) or put the spinach into a nice dish and top the whole thing with the bread crumbs.  We did it the easy way since it was just the two of us and we didn't want to do another dish!

Mike grilled the steaks and then our meal was complete! 

The creamy, mushroomy, spinachy mix went great with the steaks!  I would definitely make this side dish again!

It would also be really easy to make this dish vegetarian friendly.  Exclude the bacon and use olive oil (about 3 tbs) instead of the bacon fat to cook the onions and other veggies.

    1 comment:

    1. I was looking for a creamed spinach recipe that used panko breadcrumbs and I found yours! It sounds great, and I pinned it. Finally, a way to use up all of my spring spinach without eating it simply as a salad. Thanks for sharing!