Sunday, November 25, 2012

Spinach Squares (Fingers)

Libby's* Spinach Fingers (like a crustless quiche)

The night before, leave out to soften and thaw, respectively:
        1/2 to 1 stick butter (I use 6 T = 3/4 stick)
        two 10-oz packages frozen chopped spinach
I often use one 16-oz package, alone or with ~4 oz (2 stalks) chopped celery. Frozen broccoli, chopped or florets, is a good variation.

A few hours before, if you think of it:
        1/2 lb cheddar (grate it cold, then leave it out
                   to reach room temperature)
Also, take out of refrigerator to remove the chill
        6 eggs
        24 oz small curd cottage cheese (room temp is better)

Now to make the fingers:
Squeeze that thawed SPINACH in handfuls to make it as dry as possible. (Broccoli is much harder to squeeze, so the final product is a bit wetter.) Put in small bowl and set aside.

In large bowl, mix with spoon
        that BUTTER
        that COTTAGE CHEESE
        that CHEDDAR
Blend in, one at a time
        those EGGS
Mix in by handfuls, twiddling to separate
        that SPINACH (or broccoli, or either plus chopped celery)
Stir in
        3 rounds of 2 T flour each (6 T all together)
                   (use matzo meal during Passover)
        "seasoned salt" says Libby
Instead of 'seasoned salt,' I use nutmeg, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and pepper. I just sprinkle them on top of each round of flour so they are a nice but not solid dusting. I use no salt because I find the cottage cheese and cheddar salty enough.

Bake in a greased 9 x 13 pan at 325, 1 hr till firm and slightly brown on top (convection oven at 300 for 45 min is OK but doesn't brown). Cool a bit and cut up for serving/freezing. Libby calls this recipe "spinach squares" but I tend to cut narrow rectangles ("fingers") for New Year's Eve parties. I cut big squarish rectangles (12 per pan) for breakfasts.

"Good reheated. Freezes well." says Libby. YES! I make up about 3 batches for big parties a week or more ahead of time, then cut up and freeze. I reheat, in the microwave or whatever oven is going, in batches as needed, straight from the freezer. A breakfast portion, microwaved straight from the freezer, is ready in 2-2.5 min.

laptop versions: rjm 8/25/93, rev 12/4/01, 12/16/02, 6/1/04, 10/29/06
rev/post 11/25/12

Libby is my father-in-law's wife. She has given me a number of great recipes over the years. Stay tuned for her Apricot Bars and Cocoa Brownies (a good cake-y alternative to my fudge-style Killer Brownies which come from a recipe I found on a box of unsweetened chocolate years ago).

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