I’d never heard of, let alone tried Spinach Madeline until I was living in Nashville a few years back. It was New Year’s Eve, and since it was the end of the sales quarter at my job, I would be working late, and my husband was appointed the chef in charge of our New Year’s Eve dinner. My mother was in town, as well, and the two of them were planning to cook while I finished up at work.
When he sent me the menu the day before, I was a little uncertain and asked, “What is this whole Spinach Madeline thing? Are you sure you want to make this?”
And he looked at me like I was crazy.
… I didn’t get it until I took my first bite later that evening, and I was a HUGE fan of the dish and flavor profiles.
Ever since, we make Spinach Madeline on various occasions and relish in the simple, slightly spicy, and perfectly balanced spinach dish. And I love it so much that I wanted to share the recipe we have come to know and love with y’all today.
These are the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious side:
And this is what you will do:
First and foremost, boil your frozen spinach, or cook it in the microwave using a microwave-safe bowl while following the instructions on the box. Let cool, then drain, saving the liquid. Do your best to not spill it all over the stovetop like me.
And then the fun begins: You’ll melt the butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Once these two ingredients have combined, you’ll add the flour to make a roux (woo!) and cook for a few minutes, just into the flour is cooked through, and then, add the shallot. Cook this for a few more minutes before adding in the saved liquid from the spinach and the evaporated milk.
Once these ingredients are heated through and thickening, it’s time to add the seasonings. Stir these in to combine, then add the cheese, turning off the heat and letting the jalapeno cheese melt into the sauce. Finally, add the spinach, and stir together.
The last step is to pour the ingredients into a greased baking dish, top with a little bit of cheese (because why not?), and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and browned on the top.
Adapted from Mrs. William G. Reymond’s recipe in River Road Recipes
- 2 10-ounce packages frozen, chopped spinach
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup shallots, finely minced
- 1 5-ounce can evaporated milk (A little less than 3/4 cup)
- 1 cup vegetable liquor (the juices from the spinach)
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon celery salt
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 6 ounces hot pepper cheese (or any other kind of jalapeno cheese)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Cook the spinach according to the directions on the package. (I cooked the two packages in about a cup of boiling water on the stovetop for around 10 minutes.)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Drain and reserve the liquid from the spinach. Set aside.
- Melt the butter and olive oil in a saucepan over low heat.
- Add the flour, stirring until blended and smooth. You do not want this to brown.
- Add the shallot, and cook until soft.
- Add the reserved spinach liquid and the evaporated milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook until smooth and thick, stirring the mixture.
- Add the black pepper, celery salt, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce.
- Add the cheese, stirring until melted.
- Combine this mixture with the cooked spinach.
- Transfer the Spinach Madeline from your saucepan to a greased baking dish. Top with extra cheese, if you’d like. Bake the dish for 20 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top, then immediately enjoy.
Notes: This dish can be served immediately from the pan if you don’t want to wait for the baking process. Also, the flavor improves on this dish if it is kept overnight in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen.
Have you ever eaten Spinach Madeline?