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Spinach Casserole & Bourbon Sours

August 6, 2011

Well, Friday was productive in our house. Mom and I decided to spend the whole day dealing with the clutter that has somehow amassed recently among the living rooms of the house. I collected the last bit of stuff from my move and we sorted through knickknacks, kitchen supplies and other more cumbersome items that have taken up residence in the kitchen and living room. Then we loaded up the car for a trip to Goodwill and the storage unit. Part of our sorting led us to the horrendously giant stack of recipes that my mother has printed offline or scanned out of magazines. We went through them and the pile grew significantly smaller. We also decided that maybe we should start making the recipes, so we chose a Spinach and Gruyere Casserole to try for dinner. I also found a recipe for Bourbon and Peach Sours, so I mixed up a batch to chill for some festive Friday-evening-celebrating-a-clean-house drinks.

After we finished processing the Grape Jelly & Mango Chutneys (the grape jelly will appear as a post soon, I promise) that have become a two day project, we headed to storage and Goodwill. With that load off, it was time for the grocery store. Well the fastest way to decide not to make a Gruyere casserole is to find yourself at the cheese counter looking at Gruyere cheese and pricing out two shredded cups of it. So we decided instead to use Swiss, and add a little bit of Gruyere to the mix. Easy fix.

Spinach and Swiss Cheese Casserole:

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

6 Shallots, sliced thin

2 cloves garlic, crushed

½ cup dry white wine

4 10oz packages of frozen leaf spinach, thawed

6 large eggs

1 cup Milk

1 cup Heavy Cream

½ tsp nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

1 ½ cup shredded Swiss cheese

½ cup shredded/chopped Gruyere cheese

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400F. Heat oil in a pan and add shallots, garlic and some salt and pepper. Sauté until soft and add white wine. Simmer until wine is evaporated, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk eggs, cream, nutmeg and some salt and pepper in a large bowl. Squeeze water out of thawed spinach and add to eggs. Add shallots to the eggs. Add cheeses to the eggs, reserving a little bit of Parmesan for the top. Fold everything together. Grease a 2.5-3 Qt casserole dish and spread mixture evenly. Top with some Parmesan and bake 40-50 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

Yum! Also, despite the cream and rather hefty amount of cheese, this casserole is pretty healthy as it is a majority spinach (40 oz of spinach is A LOT). The recipe (which is a scan from an unknown magazine..but from the design I think might be Real Simple) says it serves about 8 people, but it made a pretty good amount of casserole, so if you’re serving it as a side, it should serve more people. If you’re serving it as a main part of the meal, It will probably serve 8. I put Sriracha (Rooster Sauce) on mine, and it was an excellent addition…possibly a few Tbsp could be added into the ingredients for next time. Anyways, great success!

“Mommm? What are you cooking?”

“Noooooooo!”

And now for the cocktails:

Bourbon & Peach Sours:

½ cup peach preserves

½ cup hot water

juice of one lemon

1 cup + 2Tbsp Bourbon

Limes for garnish

Directions:

Mix preserves and hot water until preserves are dissolved. Add juice and Bourbon Jim Beam (gotta have the Beam) and stir well. Keep in refrigerator or serve immediately. Serve over ice.

Makes about 3 drinks.

Awesome mix! For one thing, I always forget how much I like the flavor of bourbon with a refreshing sweet mixer like ginger ale, and the sweet preserves diluted with water are an excellent accompaniment to the flavor of Mr Beam.

An excellent end to a productive day. AND The house can breathe again.

Enjoy!

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