Friday, November 12, 2010

Spinach and rice gratin

I prepared this spinach and rice gratin last week at work as a side dish. I enjoy it because the flavor of the spinach predominates.


Press as much liquid from spinach as possible before combining with egg, rice and Bechamel sauce. Top with Gruyere cheese for additional flavor. Bake a half recipe in greased 9x13-inch pan.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup diced onion, small dice
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart milk, heated
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 bay leaves
1 cup Parmesan cheese
6 large eggs, whipped
1 quart cooked rice
6 pounds frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Add onions and sweat until translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in flour to form roux. Continue cooking for 2 additional minutes.

Add milk and stir to combine. Add ground clove, nutmeg, bay leaves and Parmesan cheese. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and cool.

Meanwhile, combine whipped eggs and cooled rice in large bowl. Slowly add cooled Bechamel to rice mixture, stirring constantly. Fold in pressed and drained spinach.

Transfer spinach mixture to greased 12x20x2-inch hotel pan. Bake in 350-degree oven, uncovered, until hot and bubbling, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Combine bread crumbs, melted butter and Parmesan cheese. Evenly sprinkle bread crumb mixture over spinach. Return to oven and continue baking until bread crumbs brown.

Cut each 12x20x2-inch hotel pan into 24 squares (4x6). Serve 1 square per portion.

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