Mrs. Obama mentioned the dish during her menu preview for media, which was held inside the White House kitchen, where Mrs. Obama was joined by Comerford, Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, and invited culinary students from the local L'Academie de Cuisine.
"Cris and Bill are very flexible, they made our kooky ideas make sense as a menu," Mrs. Obama said. "One of the delights of living here is everyone is going above and beyond...we have this talent base here, people who are committed to making the White House a place of pride and grace for the whole country."
The Creamed Spinach accompanied the dinner entree, Nebraska Wagyu Beef and Nantucket Scallops, one of the First Lady's favorite foods--and, she said, "the President loves scallops, too." Glazed Red Dragon Carrots and Portobello Mushroom were also served with the entree. (Above: Mrs. Obama with Comerford, c, and Yosses during the preview)
The recipe is fairly easy, and it really does taste similar to traditional creamed spinach, but without the fat and calories from cream. It requires a kitchen tool that's as modern as Mrs. Obama's approach to being First Lady--an electric blender.
White House No-Cream Creamed SpinachIngredients
*2 Pounds Baby Spinach, washed and cleaned
*2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
*4 Shallots, minced
*2 Garlic Cloves, minced
*Salt and freshly ground Pepper
1. Blanch half a pound of spinach in salted, boiling water. Immediately, “shock” the blanched spinach in a bowl of iced water. Drain and squeeze out the excess water. Puree in a blender. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, sweat the shallots and garlic until translucent. Add the rest of the spinach leaves. Toss and sauté until wilted. Fold in the spinach puree. Season with salt and pepper.
*Top photo by Pete Souza/White House. The President and Mrs. Obama were listening to musical guests Earth Wind & Fire as they played at the Governors Dinner. Second photo by Joyce N. Baghosian/White House.