I started this with the best intentions, really. I was going to make a version of Jack’s mom’s famous creamed spinach… top it with crispy shallots because they remind me of my dad and the infamous green bean casserole (his favorite thing). I was going to make just a few tweaks — but a few shiitakes and a can of coconut milk later, it became less of a “twist” and more of a left turn. Albeit, a delicious left turn.
I absolutely love coconut – if you don’t, this one might not be for you. The coconut is not merely a dairy replacement here, it’s flavor is front and center… sweet, rich and creamy… with a little tang from a tiny bit of lemon. I might totally suck at Thanksgiving traditions, but this is my kind of comfort food.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb. spinach (or mix of baby greens)
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- salt, pepper
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1/2 cup canola oil for frying
- In a large skillet heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, add the spinach, a few pinches of salt, and cook until just wilted. (you may have to let some cook down before you can fit more into the pan, or add & remove it in batches - just don't overcook it). Turn of the heat, and place spinach in a colander to drain.
- Once it's cool to the touch, press out as much liquid as you can. And then press out some more. Don't skip this step or you will have watery creamed spinach.
- In a separate smaller skillet, heat your fry oil. Toss shallots together with the cornstarch until they're fully coated. Test fry a shallot, making sure your oil is at the right temp (they should become golden brown in about 30 seconds). Fry the rest in batches, drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt. Set aside.
- Whisk coconut milk, dijon mustard, a pinch of salt, and corn starch. Set aside.
- Wipe out the skillet you used for the spinach and heat 1/2 tablespoon more oil. Add the chopped shallot, mushrooms, garlic, pinches of salt and pepper, and cook for a few minutes until soft. Squeeze lemon into the pan, give it a stir, and turn heat to low. Add half the coconut milk mixture and stir.
- Add the spinach back to the pan. Pour in the rest of the coconut milk mixture and stir just until the spinach and coconut milk are warmed through. (you want to cook the spinach as little as possible so it doesn't lose it's vibrant green color and become mushy). Remove from heat and pour into a serving platter.
- Top with shallots just as you're ready to serve so they stay crispy.