Marie Cox from Bel Air was hoping someone would have the recipe for the creamed spinach that was served at Haussner's restaurant in Baltimore. Sadly, the restaurant closed a number of years ago, but many of their most popular dishes live on in people's memories. Cox said she has tried many recipes for creamed spinach but she has not been able to duplicate the special flavor of the restaurant dish.
Carol Hannan from Kingsville had the recipe for the Haussner's creamed spinach that she said was published in the Sunpapers many years ago. She does not know the exact date.
Laura Riley, who tested the recipe at the time, noted, "Since this a restaurant recipe, the quantity is huge. Make this for a large gathering." She also said that when she cooked and squeezed the spinach as instructed, she was only able to extract about a quart of spinach juice. Nonetheless, she said, "the resulting creamed spinach had plenty of sauce and a good, creamy consistency."
While this recipe does make a rather large quantity, it could easily be cut it in half. Also, now that prewashed and stemmed spinach is readily available, the dish is fairly easy to make. If you use the prewashed and stemmed greens, the only truly labor intensive part is extracting the liquid from the cooked spinach. I placed a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and used my hands to squeeze out the moisture. The seasoning is a little out of the ordinary but perhaps that was the secret to the popularity of the iconic restaurant's creamed spinach. The anchovy and nutmeg flavor is subtle and the Maggi seasoning, available these days in most grocery stores, really just adds a bit of saltiness. If you are not able to locate it, a splash of soy sauce is a perfectly acceptable substitute.
While I never had the pleasure of eating the creamed spinach at Haussner's, hopefully this recipe will produce a dish close to the one Cox remembers. I do know this recipe makes a very luscious dish that would be the perfect accompaniment to just about any main course.
Deborah Hess from Pikesville is looking for the recipe for a dish that was served at the now-closed Marconi's restaurant in downtown Baltimore. She thinks it was just called Shrimp with Ham. She said her husband loved it and she would like to be able to recreate it for him at home.
Sarah Fletcher from Davis, W.Va., is in search of a favorite cookie recipe she has lost. She thinks the recipe may have come from either Women's Day or Good Housekeeping magazine back around 1964 or 1965. She described the cookies, called "Lizzies," as being fruitcake like. As she recalls, the batter was made with butter, sugar, flour, raisins soaked in bourbon, pecans and citron.
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Haussner's Creamed Spinach
Makes 6 to 8 servings
2 1/2 pounds fresh spinach
2 quarts (approximately) reserved spinach liquid
1/2 cup butter
8 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons chopped anchovies
Maggi seasoning (to taste)*
Nutmeg (to taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup onions (chopped fine and browned in _ cup fat or oil)
1 cup table cream
Stem and wash spinach well; pat dry. Saute over medium-low heat until thoroughly cooked and wilted. Depending on how large your pan is, you may need to do this in batches. Cool. Squeeze spinach in handfuls over a big bowl, reserving the juice, until dry. Chop fine. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add flour and stir until smooth. Add reserved spinach liquid, anchovies, Maggi seasoning, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. This makes the sauce. Then add in the chopped spinach, sauteed onions and simmer, stirring for 5 minutes. Stir in cream and heat through before serving.
*Note: Maggi seasoning is a dark, hydrolyzed vegetable protein-based sauce similar to East Asian soy sauce, except it does not contain soy. It is sold in most food stores, however if unavailable, soy sauce may be used as a substitute.