Spinach Maria and Boat Club for June


I am so thankful for being able to attend our monthly potlucks at Boat Club, it means I get to try lots of new dishes and if I’m lucky I get recipes as well.  The best of both worlds.    And last night was no exception.

We had everything from ham to salad to desserts.    We really do have the best cooks here.  I say that every month, but it’s true.

And I have to admit to taking the easy way out this time.   I made my Blooming Onion bread and a Black Olive Tapenade, mainly cause I had the ingredients to hand and they were easy to make, and I wasn’t feeling inspired.  I did change up the Blooming Onion Bread a little, mainly cause I had some cheddar cheese and some Pepper Jack cheese that I’d already sliced and that were in the freezer.    And of course I always have at least one can of Black Olives on hand so I can make a quick Tapenade.  I used some Ciabatta rolls I had in the freezer for the Tapenade, and that worked well also.

Now without further ado, drum roll please….   Here are the dishes we had last night and I’m following that with the recipe for the Spinach Maria, which was OMG good.

 

Blooming Onion Bread

 

Tapenade with Ciabatta Roll slices  

 

Spicy Asian White Bean Dip

 

Ham

 

Fresh Sliced Cucumbers

 

Spinach Maria

 

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno’s

 

Fresh carrots and tomatoes

 

Dessert

 

More Dessert

 

Creamsicle Cookies

 

Salad

And here’s the recipe for the Spinach Maria.   And this was shamelessly copied from this blog Nibble Me This  which has some really yummy looking recipes and stunning photography.     This is usually served in little ramekins at Calhoun’s restaurant in Knoxville, Tennessee.

 

Calhoun’s Spinach Maria

 

5 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach

4 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 3/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper

1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon butter

5 tablespoons melted butter

6 tablespoons flour

8 ounces  Velveeta cheese

8 ounces cheddar cheese

4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese

1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (for topping)

Thaw spinach in refrigerator for 24 hours. Squeeze as much excess water as possible out of spinach. Heat milk and spices in 4-quart saucepan on medium heat to just below a boil (190 degrees). Then reduce heat and simmer. Saute chopped onion in 1 tablespoon butter on medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Add to saucepan. Combine 5 tablespoons melted butter with flour in a small suate pan. (This is the first step of making a roux, which will thicken the sauce.) Mix until completely blended. Cook on low heat 3-4 minutes to make roux. Add roux to milk in saucepan and mix well. Continue to cook until sauce thickens.

Cut Velveeta, cheddar and Jack cheese into small cubes and add to saucepan. Continue to mix until all the cheese is completely melted and blended into sauce. Be careful not to burn the sauce while cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Add drained spinach to cheese sauce, mix until completely blended. Spoon into 11-by-9-by-2-inch casserole dish and top with grated Monterey Jack cheese. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

 

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