Monday, December 23, 2013

Spinach Balls

I love spinach balls as can make them ahead and freeze them for later use. The spinach ball recipe that I use is based on the one in the cookbook, Beginning Again. One of these days, I will try the recipe using kale instead of spinach.

I recently visited a new friend in Tulsa, who not only made my favorite foods, from eggplant lasagna to
a variation of my spinach ball recipe, to a fabulous noodle kugel, but we have the same kitchen cabinets, the same kitchen table (not the same as the cabinets), and some of our other furniture is exactly the same! How this is possible is beyond me? I would not have believed it had I not experienced it in person. I feel sorry for the years we lost not knowing each other, but better now than never!

My new friend served a modified version of the spinach ball recipe in a casserole -- it tasted so familiar, yet since I had not made spinach balls in a few years, and when I make them I make a huge batch for last minute company, it took me a few moments to recognize one of my favorite ways to prepare and eat spinach.

I had to modify the spinach ball recipe below for my husband, but herein is the original spinach ball recipe with a slight variation from the recipe in the cookbook, Beginning Again.

2 packages frozen chopped spinach (when I try this with kale, I will use the kale I freeze and crumble)
2 cups Pepperidge Farm Crushed Herb Stuffing Mix (I have never tried it with another mix)
6 eggs beaten (for a casserole, it is possible that the eggs can be deleted, but the eggs helps the ball shape)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (I use 1 cup for company, as I love cheese, but for my husband, I must omit the cheese)
3/4 cup softened butter (I reduce this to 1/2 cup for my husband, and they come out great -- I think that 3/4 cup makes them too greasy for my family's taste as many of our foods are low fat.)

1/2 cup finely chopped onion, I rarely add onion but may try it when I substitute kale for the spinach.
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (I never use salt, I love garlic powder, but do not use garlic in this recipe as the stuffing mix is "herbed," and this is one of the few recipes I do not want too garlicky).

1. Cook the spinach and drain well == I tear off the paper around the box and microwave it in the
oven, then I squeeze out the all the spinach juice while the spinach is still in the white cardboard box,
I squeeze the box until no more spinach juice exudes.
2. Mix the remaining ingredients with the spinach
3. Shape in to the size of walnuts and place on a greased baking sheet.
4. Freeze the balls until hard and then place them in a plastic storage bag.
5. When ready to bake, no defrosting is necessary, place in preheated oven for 20 minutes at 350 F.

Enjoy, I love to have spinach balls on hand in the freezer for unexpected company!

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