One of the most beloved recipes from the Baton Rouge Junior League River Road Recipes collection is the Spinach Madeleine. A unique blend of creamy spinach and spicy cheese, the Spinach Madeleine has made its way onto South Louisiana holiday tables for decades.
So beloved is this Spinach concoction, that recently our River Road Recipe committe highlighted it for our newsletter’s holiday cover and feature for inRegister magazine!
Here’s how we presented it…
As beloved as the recipe is, it is also antiquated as most recipes originating in the 1960’s can get. If you search online for the original, you’ll see about a dozen ways to replace the now discontinued Jalapeno cheese roll. I’ve even seen it pop up on Chef John Folse’s website using a spicy Velveeta as substitution and can I just say that if Mrs. Madeline Reymond-Wright (the woman responsible for submitting the recipe to the Junior League all those years ago) was privy to this, she must have had some sort of fit knowing her spinach dish was being turned orange. Because that’s exactly what will happen if you substitute with Velveeta and probably why he doesn’t showcase a photo of the dish on his website.
I took things a couple of steps further when I set out to substitute the discontinued roll of Jalapeno cheese, by also substituting the evaporated milk. Primarily because I didn’t have any, and also because I thought the Swanson Cream StarterTM would give me the creamy base I was looking for… and it did!
I also decreased the amount of roux because I only used 1 package of spinach. The original recipe calls for 2 packages but it doesn’t indicate size. I went with a 1-pound bag of frozen spinach and decreased some of the roux to make sure my proportions were ok.
See? It’s why I’m calling it the Spinach Madeleine Remix. Who knows, maybe Mrs. Reymond-Wright is going to get her stick after me, too.
- • 1 package frozen chopped spinach, (1 lb)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- ¾ cup of Swanson Cream StarterTM
- ½ cup vegetable liquor
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- salt to taste
- 6 ounces, Jalapeno cheddar cheese with red peppers (cut into small cubes)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
- Cook spinach according to directions on package. Drain and reserve the excess juice (liquor). Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Add flour, stirring until blended and smooth, but not brown. Add liquid slowly, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook until smooth and thick; continue stirring. Add seasoning and cheese cubes and stir until melted. Combine with cooked spinach. Either serve immediately or put into a casserole dish topped with flavored bread crumbs. The flavor is intensified if the latter is done and kept in refrigerator overnight. Serves 5 to 6.
I’ve never had Mrs. Reymond-Wright’s version and unfortunately I’ll probably never be able to compare the original to my “remix” but I will say that I don’t eat spinach and this is a holiday staple in my home now. It’s that good. Perhaps it’s disguising the true benefits of the spinach, but when it comes to the holidays, I’m ok with that. And if it can get me to eat vegetables, then by golly, I’m ok with that too.
Have you ever heard of Spinach Madeleine? What about the story about where the spinach dish originally originated? I’ll have to share that rumor with you someday soon! I’m willing to bet we’ll never know.
This blog post is sponsored by Swanson®.