Happy Eye Candy Friday Everybody! :)
My lunch today: Slab of pan seared ham left over from Easter (it's been in the freezer y'all) with fried spinach.
Oh yum oh yum oh yum. Lots of people love ham but no so many are crazy about spinach. I've loved spinach since I was a small child and my son Benny has inherited the same adoration for it. My mom always had it in the garden and put away plenty in the deep freeze to enjoy the rest of the year. It was always served with a cruet of vinegar. YUM!
When I got older I didn't have spinach in my garden so I had it less often, though it's very affordable as a canned vegetable. When Benny and Katie were really little, one year I made creamed spinach to take as a side dish at the family Christmas dinner. I think Benny and I were the only ones that had any but it became a holiday favorite for the two of us from then on. He loves it when I make creamed spinach for no special reason now.
The first time I had fried spinach was six years ago at the Rosewood Grille in Las Vegas, NV.
Quoted from this restaurant review:
The Rosewood Grille predates most of the megaresorts that line the Las Vegas Strip, and for a smallish steak and lobster place to withstand growing competition from 100 higher profile restaurants on the same street, it must be doing something right. There's a nostalgic appeal to dining where the Rat Pack once ordered martinis, especially since the spot apparently hasn't redecorated since those swinging days of old. The Grille's dark wood panels, leather booths, red carpet and white tablecloths are as much a Las Vegas staple as the neon sign.
Jeff is a fairly experienced Vegas visitor and it was my first time there. He did a wonderful job as tour guide, showing me the big hotels and casinos on the strip, going to a Cirque de Soliel show at Treasure Island, and eating at his favorite Las Vegas restaurant, the Rosewood Grille. He's a big Frank Sinatra fan and likes to reminisce about places that Frank and Dean-O and the rest of the Rat Pack liked to hang out in the old days of Las Vegas.
When we ate at the Rosewood Grille Jeff had his usual, Prime Rib. I'm sure it was fabulous. I had sea bass encrusted with crushed hazelnuts (if I remember correctly) and fried spinach. This bass, this spinach. I don't know if it was the night, the trip, the true getaway feeling of Las Vegas, but this was one of the most memorable dinners we have ever had. I believe the restaurant has actually relocated since we were there but at the time it was hidden in a dark corner at the foot of the Venetian under a street overpass or something. Very out-of-the-way and off the beaten path for Las Vegas. Our waiter had a foreign accent and the restaurant was small and darkish and not at all crowded (I think it was a Sunday night). The food, the wine, the atmosphere, everything. It was fabulous and very memorable. Earlier this month Jeff and I were reminiscing about that fun trip to Vegas - it was six years ago and was the one year anniversary of when we first started exchanging emails. Yes, we basically met on the internet. Not a lot of people know about that but it's a nice little story. :)
Last week I had a bunch of fresh spinach that I needed to use up so I decided to try fried spinach. It's the easiest thing you've ever tried and I promise, if you like spinach - you'll LOVE this.
I put about 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a very hot pan and let it sear until it's brown. Dump 6oz of cleaned spinach leaves with stems removed into the pan, grind some sea salt and fresh pepper over the top and let it reduce. Turn a few times with a spatula until it's fully reduced and wilted. This will yield about 1 cup of cooked spinach. Two servings if you can bear to share it. I'm a spinach hog. If someone really wanted to share I'd have to make two batches!
Something really great about this dish is that it's low carb. The spinach has 3g carbs and 2g of dietary fiber, which if I remember correctly, nets to just 1 carb that you need to count if you're counting for a diet.
I'm doing well on the scale this week but I'll keep all of that to myself until my "official" weigh-in on Monday for the Weight Loss Challenge. I'm looking for a good free web site that offers tracking for weight loss as well as menus to follow. I checked out a few but the one I really like is at www.diabetescontrolforlife.com. I got signed up but then I think they started doing some upgrades to their site (it actually appears to be very new). It's sponsored by Glucerna which is/are meal replacement shakes and bars for people who have diabetes. You do NOT have to be diabetic to use the site or menus. I'm continuing to check their site and hoping to start on their menu plan and 24 week weight loss plan starting Monday. I'll report more on Monday if the site is back up before then. Unfortunately I don't think a slab of ham and spinach fried in butter is on their menu. hehe
Everybody have a wonderful knitterly weekend and good weather to go with it! :)