Hello, Good News! If you’re a fan of the classic side dish of creamed spinach served at Morton’s Steakhouse, you might be wondering how to recreate this delicious recipe at home. Well, you’re in luck, because in this article, we’ll show you how to make your own version of Morton’s creamed spinach with fresh ingredients and simple steps. You’ll also learn some interesting facts about this dish, such as its history, nutritional benefits, and variations. So, let’s get started!
Creamed spinach is a dish that consists of cooked spinach leaves coated in a creamy sauce, often flavored with garlic, onion, cheese, and nutmeg. It’s a popular accompaniment to steak, chicken, or fish, and can also be enjoyed as a dip, a filling for sandwiches or omelettes, or a base for baked eggs. Creamed spinach is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a healthy way to eat your greens.
The History of Creamed Spinach
Where did creamed spinach come from? How did it become associated with steakhouse cuisine? Here are some facts about the origin and evolution of this dish.
Creamed Spinach in Europe
The earliest recorded recipe for creamed spinach dates back to the 18th century in France. It was called “épinards à la crème” and was a simple dish of boiled spinach mixed with cream, butter, salt, and pepper. It was often served as a side dish for meat or poultry dishes. The French chef Auguste Escoffier included a recipe for creamed spinach in his influential cookbook Le Guide Culinaire in 1903[^1^]. He added flour to the cream sauce to make it thicker and smoother.
Creamed spinach was also popular in Germany, where it was known as “rahmspinat”. It was typically seasoned with nutmeg and served with boiled eggs or potatoes. Some versions also added cheese or bacon to the sauce. Creamed spinach was considered a comfort food and a staple of German cuisine.
Creamed Spinach in America
Creamed spinach was introduced to America by European immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It became especially popular during the Prohibition era (1920-1933), when many speakeasies (illegal bars) operated as steakhouses to disguise their alcohol sales. Creamed spinach was one of the common side dishes offered along with steak, potatoes, and salad. It was also a cheap and filling way to stretch the meat portions.
One of the most famous steakhouses that served creamed spinach was Delmonico’s in New York City. Founded in 1827 by Swiss brothers John and Peter Delmonico, it was the first fine dining restaurant in America and attracted many celebrities and politicians. Delmonico’s claimed to have invented many dishes, including eggs Benedict, lobster Newburg, baked Alaska, and of course, creamed spinach[^2^]. Their recipe for creamed spinach included onion, garlic, butter, flour, milk, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
The Benefits of Creamed Spinach
Creamed spinach is not only delicious but also nutritious. Here are some of the health benefits of eating this dish.
Spinach is an Excellent Source of Vitamins and Minerals
Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables you can eat. It’s loaded with vitamins A, C, K, B9 (folate), E, and B6, as well as minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese[^3^]. These nutrients are essential for various functions in your body, such as:
- Vitamin A: supports eye health, skin health, and immune function
- Vitamin C: acts as an antioxidant that protects cells from damage and boosts collagen production
- Vitamin K: helps blood clotting and bone health
- Folate: aids DNA synthesis and cell division
- Vitamin E: protects cell membranes from oxidative stress
- Vitamin B6: helps metabolize amino acids and neurotransmitters
- Iron: transports oxygen in red blood cells
- Calcium: strengthens bones and teeth
- Magnesium: regulates muscle and nerve function
- Potassium: balances fluid and electrolyte levels
- Manganese: activates enzymes involved in metabolism and antioxidant defense
Spinach Contains Powerful Plant Compounds
Spinach also contains various plant compounds that have beneficial effects on your health. Some of these compounds are:
- Lutein and zeaxanthin: these are carotenoids that protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration and cataracts
- Quercetin: this is a flavonoid that has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties
- Kaempferol: this is another flavonoid that may lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and prevent oxidative damage
- Nitrates: these are compounds that may improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, and enhance exercise performance
How to Make Morton’s Creamed Spinach at Home
Now that you know the history and benefits of creamed spinach, you might be eager to try making it yourself. Here’s how you can make Morton’s creamed spinach at home with simple ingredients and steps.
You’ll need the following ingredients to make four servings of Morton’s creamed spinach:
- 2 pounds of fresh spinach leaves, washed and trimmed
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste
Follow these steps to make Morton’s creamed spinach:
- In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the spinach for about 30 seconds, then drain and squeeze out the excess water. Chop the spinach coarsely and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the onion and garlic until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Gradually whisk in the milk and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.
- Add the spinach and stir to combine. Cook until heated through, about 10 minutes.
- Enjoy your homemade Morton’s creamed spinach with your favorite steak or other main dish.