Wish Upon A Dish: Extreme Budget, Day Twenty-Four - Steakhouse Creamed Spinach and Artichokes with Mushrooms

December 16, 2012

Extreme Budget, Day Twenty-Four - Steakhouse Creamed Spinach and Artichokes with Mushrooms

Spinach has to be my favorite vegetable right after artichokes and mushrooms. So why not put them all in the same dish? When Spinach and Artichoke Dip was all the rage, it had my name all over it and the only one I have been known to drive out of my way for. I am not sure how they made it but I have only made Alton's recipe, and always to ravs. I am going to assume it was pretty darn good, so when I got the idea to make that dip into a side dish with the addition of mushrooms, I used his flavor profile with a few of my adjustments.
One thing I should insist on....baby spinach for all it's ease of use, is great for a salad. Put it to heat and, it not only disintegrates, it becomes totally tasteless. Please buy the fresh large curly bunches. I picked up two beauties, soaked them in the sink, pulled off the stems and ran them through the salad spinner. Was really not that much trouble but it had such great flavor and it's so much less cost then the baby.
I did splurge on a rib eye tonight but after three weeks I was still in my budget and I will still have half the spinach to stuff into something like lasagna rolls or manicotti, yum again.

Creamed Spinach and Artichokes with Mushrooms
makes 4-6 servings
* 1 ounce cream cheese
* 1/3 cup heavy cream
* 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 1/2 large shallot, minced
* 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
* 2 tablespoon Marsala wine
* 1/2 cup mushrooms chopped
* salt & pepper
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 tablespoon agave nectar
* 2 huge bunches of fresh spinach (not baby)

1. Steam the spinach in a large stockpot. Remove just as it wilts. Reserve.
2. Melt butter and saute shallots and garlic for 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and wine. Cook until the mushrooms are tender. Add the heavy cream, cream cheese, Worcestershire, agave nectar, Parmesan and reserved spinach. Simmer gently until the cream cheese melts. Adjust the salt & pepper to taste and sprinkle some extra Parmesan over the top before serving.

Cost for this meal: $ 12.00
Spinach - $ 1.16
Cream - $ .42
Cream Cheese - $ .32
Mushrooms - $ .50
Garlic - $ .10
Rib eye - $ 9.50

Running total for 24 days: $ 85.03 ($.68 under budget)
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