Every once in a while, my husband opens the refrigerator or freezer door and throws a temper tantrum. I usually sense where he’s heading when he starts talking.
HIM: (Gesturing toward what he calls a jam-packed freezer. Door is still closed.) What is this?
ME: It’s a freezer. It stays cold better when it’s full.
HIM: I bet you don’t know half of what’s in this freezer.
HIM: Yeah. I bet if you had to write it down, you couldn’t name half.
Game on. I guessed 29 out of the 45 things in the freezer, accounting for probably 95% of the actual volume. I win.
What I guessed correctly:
2 containers homemade chicken stock
half a bag of peas
chocolate star cookies
Indian nut brittle
2 packages wonton wrappers
nuts (many kinds)
chipotle chicken gyoza
thyme-flavored tart crust
ice blocks for coolers
ice cube trays
earl grey granita
cherry scones and muffins
24 egg whites
2 chocolate star cakes
1 chocolate-cherry cake
sliced bread in door
1 loaf no-knead bread
What I missed:
1 raspberry-oat muffin
3 dead bananas
baby food leftover from a friend’s visit
little ice cubes for drinks
3 chai muffins
ice cream freezing canister
half a baguette
frozen pepperoni pizza
1/4 cup gingersnap crumbs
Results: I guessed 29 out of the 45 things in the freezer, accounting for probably 95% of the actual volume. Yay! I win. Too bad I wasn’t competing for Carl Kassel‘s voice on my home answering machine.
Today, a good use for frozen spinach. In case you play the same game and loose your freezer rights, which could have happened to me.
Recipe for Spinach and Roasted Garlic Dip
Recipe 213 of 365
Pile this creamy, garlicky spread onto toasted pita or into sandwiches. Make it in one big baking dish, or divide it between four small ramekins, refreeze, and defrost and bake as needed.
TIME: 20 minutes active time, plus some stirring
MAKES: 8 servings
1 large head garlic, all stickers and excess paper removed
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 (10-ounce) box frozen spinach, thawed completely in fridge
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the top 1/2” or so off the top of the garlic, enough to expose all the cloves, and place in a small baking dish. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the garlic is completely soft. Seat aside until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over low heat. When hot, add the remaining tablespoon oil, then the onion slices, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onions are very soft and browned.
Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the spinach, and place it in the work bowl of a food processor along with the onions, cream, parmesan cheese, and sour cream. Gently pry the roasted garlic cloves out of their husks and add them, along with another good sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper, if using.
Puree the ingredients until smooth, and transfer to a small baking dish or to multiple ramekins (the mixture will puff a little when baked, so don’t overfill). Bake for 20 minutes, or until warmed and just beginning to brown on top. Serve warm, spread on pita or toasts.