Apparently even Great-Great-Grandma Ursie couldn’t decide which creamed spinach recipe she liked best — these two recipes were on either side of the same note card, but I did a little research, and this recipe originated as a copycat for some famous creamed spinach from a restaurant in Chicago called Blackhawk that was open from 1912-1984. I don’t think anyone knows for sure exactly how Blackhawk made their spinach so amazing, but every version I’ve found out there on the ‘net has one thing in common: bacon! Lots of bacon. And onions. And a load of cream sauce.
I would never admit to being a creamed spinach expert. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually made creamed spinach, because I don’t purport to even like creamed spinach. But this recipe, my friends, famed for generations, is absolutely divine. Nobody is claiming that it’s a health food — in fact, I’m loathe to even label it as a “veggie” recipe — but it might just be the only way you will ever get your pickiest eaters to consume frozen spinach. But also it’s just good. Here’s how we deciphered this one:
Creamed Spinach (a la Blackhawk)
8oz bacon (the original recipe used ground salt pork)
1 medium onion (we used a sweet vidalia, but you could use whatever you have handy)
2 10-ounce packages of frozen spinach
1.5c whole milk
8oz bacon chopped fine, sauteed til brown
Add 8oz chopped onion & cook 20 minutes, til brown
Add 2 10oz packages of frozen spinach, and cook until the water is evaporated.
While that’s working, whip up a thick white sauce:
2T butter + 2T flour, cooked over medium heat til just barely fragrant
Add 1.5c whole milk and 1/2c of cream, and whisk constantly til thickened
Once the water is evaporated from the spinach/bacon/onion mixture, stir in the white sauce. It’ll take about 30 seconds to combine.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
It’s really, really good. It’s an awesome side dish for just about anything, but I imagine it might take its rightful place on our Thanksgiving table next year.