"Creamed" Spinach, spiced with cloves, bay leaves, nutmeg, and peppercorns, is deceptively rich -- its sauce is made creamy by skim milk and just a bit of half-and-half.
- 2 ten-ounce bunches spinach, well washed, tough stems removed
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 4 cloves
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half
- 1 medium onion, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
Roughly chop spinach leaves; set aside. Combine milk, peppercorns, bay leaves, and cloves in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain into a bowl or measuring cup, discarding solids; set aside.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk mixture; cook, whisking constantly until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir in salt, white pepper, nutmeg, and half-and-half. Set aside, covered; keep warm over low heat.
Heat remaining butter in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add spinach a little at a time; turn with tongs until all spinach is added and just wilted. Pour sauce over spinach, and stir to combine. Serve immediately.