Should you be asking yourself why two recipes back to back that feature spinach, the answer is “why not?” The main reason is that I already had a lot of frozen spinach at home that I needed to use; the second reason is that spinach is awesome, let me sing its praises…
Spinach is a wonder plant, it packs an enormous amount of vitamin K, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, E, and C. If that wasn’t enough, you can get manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, protein, and choline. Of course, as with any greens, it is a very good source of dietary fiber.
Isn’t that good enough to add more spinach to your diet?
If your family needs a bit of convincing to eat them, this creamy dish, with two types of cheeses, and lots of flavor, will do the trick. The colorful pepper and onion add a bit of texture and color to the dish, and I topped it with some queso cremita (queso blanco elsewhere) for extra cheesiness.
The smoked pork chop, a huge favorite with Dominicans, is super easy and quick to make, you can have dinner ready in 15 minutes.
Popeye would be proud.
Serve this Creamy, Cheesy Spinach with Pork Chops when you're short on time, but want everyone to clean up their dinner plate. Nobody will complain about eating their veggies.
- 2 tbsp butter (34 g)
- 1 medium white onion diced (95 g)
- 1 red bell pepper diced (150 g)
- 10 oz frozen chopped spinach (283 g)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (60 ml)
- 1/4 cup cream cheese (53 g)
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/2 tsp pepper or to taste
- 1/4 cup queso cremita (or blanco) crumbled (33 g)
- 3 tbsp oil for frying (45 ml)
- 4 smoked pork chops (800 g)
Cooking the onion and pepper: In a large pan heat the butter over medium-low heat, stir in the onion and bell pepper and cook stirring until the onion starts to become translucent.
Cooking the spinach: Squeeze the spinach to eliminate excess liquid and add the spinach to the pan. Cook stirring until the spinach is heated through. Add the cream and cream cheese and stir. Lower heat and simmer until the mixture is creamy but there is no excess liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with the queso cremita.
Making the pork chops: While the spinach is simmering, heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Fry the pork chops until they are golden brown, rotating to cook both sides equally.
Serving: Serve chops with the spinach on the side while still hot. Smoked pork chops are usually already salted, season with salt and pepper if you find it necessary (I never need extra salt).
Queso cremita, as we know it in the D.R. is known as queso blanco in most of the Hispanic world. If you can't find queso cremita (or blanco) you can substitute with a mild feta.
Yes, it can be made with fresh spinach, you just need to play a bit with the cooking time, but it only adds a couple of minutes.