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March 11, 2009
Spinach: The Street
Cred King of the Refrigerator
Social scientists long ago noted the willing nature of
segregation among foods. That is, the reason fruits and vegetables are
stored in the same place in a refrigerator has little to do with the
physical similarities of food, but is based on social considerations.
The same would happen if you were to hold a party for everything in your
refrigerator. Meats and cheeses would gather in one corner, fruits and
vegetables in another and the breads and grains would hang out by the
As in real life, there are those who do not stick to this,
that if allowed to would naturally fit in better with a different crowd.
Spinach is one of those foods.
Much of this has to do with the well-known link between
spinach and muscles, as outlined by that great food philosopher, Popeye
the Sailor Man. Thanks in large part to popular image, spinach can come
and go as it pleases within meat and protein circles. Among these foods,
spinach has a great deal of street credibility.
This is important when it comes to cooking spinach in its
frozen form. Although the tendency is to think of it as a vegetable, in
purely social terms it is in fact meat. And what is cooking but the
effort of introducing one kind of food to another in a way that fosters
a mutually supportive and delicious relationship.
Start with some bacon. Fry it in a pan until it is crispy.
Remove to a paper towel.
Toss some chopped onion into the hot bacon drippings. They
will immediately turn brown and begin to soften. Add the frozen spinach
and some chicken broth. Break up the spinach and mix in the onions.
Cover and let simmer. Every so often, lift the lid and
stir the spinach and browned onion.
Once the spinach is warmed, crack two eggs into the pan
and stir until the egg sets. Sprinkle over the top the crumbled pieces
of bacon and add shredded Swiss cheese to the mix. If close to dry, add
some more chicken stock until the cheese melts away into a sauce rather
than sticky strands of cheese keeping everything tied together.
Cover and allow to simmer a little longer. This will not
only add some warmth to the dish, but if the lid on your pot is
transparent, you can observe plant life interacting with meat products
as a social equal. The bacon and egg will no doubt still be impressed by
spinach’s reputation for manliness.
Salt and pepper to taste, and consider strongly either
shaking on some crushed red pepper or some hot sauce. These are
seasoning agents that cater naturally to meats and meat-like plants.
Also, serve warm. The eatability of this dish diminishes as it cools.
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