Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Iron Chef Pembroke Pines: May 2011 - Garlic Sauteed Spinach

Our lovely new friend Bonnie brought a wonderfully simple, delightfully tasteful dish this month...one that REALLY highlighted the theme...

...a simple and flavorful sauteed spinach.

It's perfection lies in it's simplification...another winner adapted from the Barefoot Contessa.

Garlic Sauteed Spinach

  • 1-1/2 pounds baby spinach leaves
  • 2 TBS good olive oil
  • 2 TBS chopped garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 TBS unsalted butter
  • Lemon
  • Sea salt (optional) 

1. Rinse spinach well in cold water to make sure it's very clean. Spin it dry in a salad spinner, leaving just a little water clinging to the leaves.

2. In a very large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute, but not until it's browned. Add all the spinach, the salt, and the pepper to the pot, toss with garlic and oil, cover the pot, and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover the pot, turn the heat on high, and cook spinach another minute, stirring with a wooden spoon until all the spinach is wilted.

3. Using a slotted spoon, lift the spinach to a serving bowl and top with the butter, a squeeze of lemon, and a sprinkling of sea or kosher salt.

4. Serve HOT.

Courtesy Bonnie

Iron Chef Pembroke Pines: May 2011 - Tomato-and-Spianch-Stuffed Chicken Roulade

Terri was our "hostess with the most-ess" this month...it was her first time and she did fantastic!!

She also made a REALLY delish dish, which I thought was in top runnings for both Taste AND Presentation. It was REALLY beautiful, and REALLY yummy.

I had seconds...(shhhh...don't tell).

Tomato-and-Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Roulade

  • 4 6-ounce chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • 1 cup whole baby spinach, divided
  • 1 cup shredded lowfat cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 large tomato, cut into 4 slices
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 TBS olive oil

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped baby spinach
  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • Fresh or dried basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1. Preheat oven to 325.

2. Place chicken on work surface, smooth side down. Top with 1/4 cup spinach, 1/4 cup cheese, and 1 tomato slice. Fold in ends and roll tightly. Place seam side down on a platter. Repeat with remaining chicken.

3. Whisk together egg whites and broth. divide flour onto two large plates.

4. Coat rolled chicken with flour, then dip in egg whites, and back into flour. Shake off any excess. Set chicken on baking sheet lined with wax paper.

5. In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat. Brown each roulade, then placed on unlined baking sheet. bake for 20 minutes.

6. While chicken is baking, prepare topping. In a small saucepan, combine tomato, spinach, vinegar, broth, and herbs. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Slice each roulade horizontally into 1-inch slices and place on a plate. Top each portion with warm tomato mixture and serve.

Courtesy Terri Metts

Iron Chef Pembroke Pines: May 2011 - Spinach Dip

I love that we had two delicious spinach dips at Iron Chef...one hot (by Angel) and one cold (by Rachel). They were both different...and delicious.

Rachel easily took the Presentation prize...her spread was gorgeous. I just love dips in bread bowls...they look great, and after all the dip is gone...you get to rip apart and eat the bread!!!

Spinach Dip

  • 1 pkg. Knorr Vegetable Soup mix (peas removed)
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 pkg. 10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • French bread bowl, hollowed out (save inside and cut into cubes)
  • Veggie sticks and/or pita chips
1. Combine sour cream and mayo. Add vegetable soup mix, without peas, stir to combine. Add spinach and mix well.

2. Store dip in refrigerator until ready to serve.

3. For service, spoon dip into hollowed out bread. Serve with additional bread chunks, assorted veggie sticks, and/or pita chips

courtesy Rachel Quinton

Iron Chef Pembroke Pines: May 2011 - Spinach, Artichoke, and Ricotta Lasagna

I was very unhappy with my Iron Chef entries last month...and that was a first for me. I don't think I had ever cooked anything truly bad before. Maybe unique...but not bad. And the sad thing was that it was a REMARKABLE secret ingredient...lemon was soooo good. And everyone's food was delicious, and amazing...and mine...


...mine sucked.

Anyway, I swore that this month I wouldn't make the same mistake and would stick to something that I am experienced at making and KNOW...without a shadow of a doubt...is GOOD. No new recipes...just a tried-and-true family favorite. Maybe something like "Quick Italian Spinach Pie" or "Florentine Soup".

But then I saw this ad in my Sunday coupon insert from Sorrento cheese...it was an add to download their FREE lasagna cookbook, titled For the Love of Lasagna. There was a picture of a BEAUTIFUL slice of Spinach Lasagna...

And I just HAD to have the cookbook (if you are unaware about my cookbook needs, see this post.)...because I HAD to make that lasagna.

So I went on the website, www.greatcheese.com/lasagna ,  and downloaded my free copy. All you needed was the code, which is LOVE1. 

It's an appropriate password...because that's just what I did...fell in LOVE. 

I've never seen such gorgeous and unique lasagna creations!! There is the recipe I made for Iron chef...but oh so many more...recipes with names like: "Pumpkin and Spinach Lasagna with Bechamel Sauce", "Eggplant Ricotta Lasagna with Arrabiata Sauce", "Portobella and Pancetta with Parmesan Lasagna", and "Chicken, Roasted Fennel, and Cauliflower Lasagna".

And then there are OTHER pastas...like "Gnocchi with Italian Sausage,Mozzarella, and Rappini", or "Linguine with Herbed Ricotta and Eggplant".

And finally...ohhhh finally...there are desserts..."Chocolate Pistachio Cannoli Lasagna" and "Strawberry Grand Marnier® Lasagna".

And the pictures are gorgeous. And it's an e-booklet...so no cluttering your already burgeoning bookshelves!! So I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend you download this cookbook.

And then make THIS lasagna FIRST...it's what I made for our Spinach-themed Iron Chef...

...and it completely redeemed me by winning 1st place in taste!!


Spinach, Artichoke, and Ricotta Lasagna
  • 8 oz. Sorrento® mozzarella, shredded
  • 15 oz. container Sorrento® ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups onions, G-inch dice
  • 10 oz. package frozen chopped
  • spinach, thawed, and squeezed dry
  • 4 cups béchamel sauce (see pg. 39)
  • 12 sheets no boil lasagna noodles
  • 3 cups artichoke hearts in brine,quartered
  • 3 oz. Parmesan, shredded, about 1 cups

Preheat oven to 400˚ F.

1. Mix ricotta and egg in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Sauté the onions in the oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper.

3. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1-1/2 cups béchamel on bottom of pan and top with 4 sheets lasagna noodles.

4. Layer with 1/2 of the ricotta, 1/2 of the spinach mixture, 1/2 of the artichokes, 1 cup béchamel, 1/2 of the mozzarella, and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan.

5. Continue layering with 4 more noodles, the rest of the ricotta, spinach mixture, artichokes, mozzarella, 1 cup of béchamel, and 1/2 cup more of Parmesan.

6. Finish with the last layer of noodles, 1 cup of béchamel, and ½ cup of Parmesan.

7. Cover with parchment and then aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes until slightly bubbling. Remove foil and parchment and continue to bake until top is browned, about 10 minutes more. Cool 10 minutes before serving to allow lasagna to set up.

Optional: Serve each slice atop a generous spoonful of basic tomato sauce.

Béchamel Sauce

  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 shallots or 1 medium yellow
  • onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • G cup all purpose flour
  • 3H cups whole milk
  • I tsp. nutmeg, grated

1. Melt butter until foaming in medium saucepan on medium.

2. Add shallots or onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent,
about 4 minutes.

3. Stir in flour and cook for about 2 minutes making sure not to brown.

4. Whisk in milk slowly and bring mixture to boil. Stir in nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.

courtesy Sorrento and Shannan Johnson

Iron Chef Pembroke Pines: May 2011 - Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Spinach

Ah-hah!!! Here's another of Sherie's famous dishes...but THIS TIME...I actually GOT the recipe!!

I think I shared with you on my main blog about how Sherie's dishes always seem to be AMAZING to me? Our palates must be similar. Well...she knocked it out of the park again for me this month, and walked away with a little prize, to boot!!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes With Spinach

  • 4 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 boxes chopped spinach, defrosted
  • 4 TBS butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1. Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Salt water and boil potatoes until tender...about 12-15 minutes.

2. Squeeze the water from the spinach in a clean dish towel.

3. Drain potatoes and set aside.

4. Melt butter in the hot pot, then add garlic and cook 2-3 minutes. Stir in cream, add the spinach, separating the greens as you do. Season greens with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

5. Add potatoes to the pot and mash to a desired consistency.

courtesy Sherie McKenna

Iron Chef Pembroke Pines: May 2011 - Spinach Artichoke Dip

Angel always brings the good stuff...like warm Spinach Artichoke Dip with homemade tortilla chips...

yum, yum, yum, yum...

This rivals the dip at the Lux...I could've eaten more...but didn't want to look like a pig!! (oink, oink!)

Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) container Alfredo pasta sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Place gralicin small baking dish. Bake in a preheated oven 20-30 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat. When cool enough to touch, squeeze softened garlic from skins.

3. In an 8x8-inch baking dish, spread the roasted garlic, spinach, artichoke hearts, Alfredo-style pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and cream cheese.

4. Cover and bake in preheated oven 30 minutes, or until cheeses are melted and bubbly. Serve warm.

courtesy Angel Anderson

Iron Chef Pembroke Pines: May 2011 - Spinach Souffle

This was a remarkably light and fluffy souffle submitted by Rose. Total props because it didn't deflate...and quite honestly, mine always do. :(

Spinach Souffle
  • 1 bag (16 oz.) frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 TBS very finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg, fresh is best
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1. Thaw spinach in a colander; squeeze well to get as much moisture as possible out.

2. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 1-qt casserole or souffle dish.

3. Heat butter in a sucepan over medium low heat. When butter has melted, add flour; stir until smooth and bubbling. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. When mixture is thick and bubbling, remove from heat. Stir in the finely chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the nutmeg.

4. In a metal or glass mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks have formed. In a separate bowl, beat yolks until frothy and lemon colored.

5. Stir egg yolks into the sauce mixture; stir in the spinach.

6. Stir about 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the spinach mixture, then gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture.

7. Pour into a prepared siuffle dish; set dish in a large pan then add water to a depth of about 1 inch.

8. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. The top will be lightly browned. serve immediately.

Courtesy Rose Gertner