September 13, 2009

Spinach Spuds

Another amazingly tasty recipe from Food Network Magazine. I used pancetta instead of ham. Leave out the meat if you wish to have a filling vegetarian dish.

4 large russet potatoes
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for brushing
2 tbs all-purpose flour
2 c milk
1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped
3 oz. pancetta, chopped
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
kosher salt
4 oz gruyere or gouda cheese, finely shredded (about 1 1/4 cups) (I used smoke gouda)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce the potatoes with a fork; microwave for 15 minutes. Remove and brush with olive oil; transfer to the oven rack and bake until fully tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook the pancetta until browned. Remove from pan into a bowl and leave fat from pancetta in pan. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 6 minutes. Stir in the spinach and pancetta and cook until the green swilt and the mixture is about as this as sour cream, 3-4 more minutes. Season with the cayenne and nutmeg and add salt to taste.

Slice the cooked potatoes lenghwise down the middle (but not all the way through); press in on the ends to open the slit. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon oil into each potato; fluff the flesh with a fork and season with salt. Divide the spinach mixture among the potatoes and top with the shredded cheese while still hot.

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