the cheese stands alone

November 2nd, 2010

Over these many years, cooking for the man who came for dinner and never left has required smoke and mirrors, slights of hand and outright fibbing in order to get him to eat and enjoy the many foods he initially warned me he’d never eat; to whit, capers, olives, anchovies, blue cheese, mustard, mayonnaise, chutney, tarragon and Pernod.

He may as well have tried to erase flour and salt from my perpetual ingredient list and would have been equally unsuccessful.  Judicious masking of ingredients and a shrewd blending of flavors have helped sway the stalwart man and romantic dinners by candlelight that disguise errant capers that roll out of position have helped hasten that sway.

This subterfuge has worked its magic and the man wouldn’t consider a capicola sandwich without a big spoonful of olive salad, or smoked salmon Napoleons without capers or Tuscan white beans without anchovies, yet he continues to hold fast against blue cheese, more the pity for him and no big complaint on my part because it means that I get to consume it solo, as in the case of this unbearably good creation of creamed spinach with Gorgonzola and frizzled ham.

Mmm… mine, all mine!

Creamed Spinach with Gorgonzola

Related Recipes

Creamed Spinach with Gorgonzola and Frizzled Ham

One skillet – ten minutes.

This recipe makes one portion and is easily doubled, tripled, etc.  It’s a good idea to serve it with toast points to sop up every last dreg of sauce, otherwise the temptation to lick the plate might prove irresistible!

For each serving:

  • 3 ounces fresh, young spinach, stemmed and rinsed
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 3 teaspoons crumbled Gorgonzola (or any blue cheese), divided
  • 1 medium slice of roasted ham (or good quality deli ham such as Virginia or Black Forest)
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • toast points, for garnish

In a ten-inch non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add ham and cook until lightly caramelized on both surfaces.  Remove from skillet and set aside on a warm plate.

Wipe skillet clean and add spinach with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until lightly wilted.  Scoop spinach into a colander and let drain.

Again, wipe skillet clean and add cream, 2 teaspoons of cheese and nutmeg.  Bring mixture to a gentle boil and cook for 4-5 minutes until mixture has reduced and thickened slightly.  Return spinach to skillet and stir to combine.  When spinach is heated through, spoon mixture onto a plate with the frizzled ham and toast points.  Crumble remaining teaspoon of cheese over top and serve immediately.

Copyright © Katherine Stetson, all rights reserved.