|1 pounds||Fresh spinach|
|6||Cloves fresh garlic (or more!) (up to 8)|
|6||(or more!) small, dried chiles, such as piquins or African Devils (up to 8)|
|2||Loaves (8-oz) "frenchettes", or 1 1-lb loaf french bread|
|12 ounces||Chunk mozzarella cheese|
This is so easy, it hardly needs writing up. All my friends love this, so I thought I'd pass it along. Please excuse the lack of "exact" measurements, but I cook by intuition and guesswork. Feel free to improvise! Thoroughly wash spinach; drain as thoroughly as possible. Tear the larger leaves into smaller pieces.
Heat olive oil in large skillet or wok and add garlic. Saute for a few minutes and add spinach. Saute until spinach is limp. Crumble chiles into spinach. If there is a lot of water in the pan from the spinach, you may want to remove spinach to a dish, reduce the liquid on high heat, and then return spinach to the pan. Be careful not to overcook spinach.
Slice frenchettes lengthwise. If using a whole french bread, slice loaf in half, and slice halves lengthwise. Butter and lightly salt halves (this is optional).
Slice mozzarella cheese (I prefer slicing a chunk of cheese over using packaged shredded cheese).
Place bread onto pizza pan or cookie sheet. Spread spinach onto bread. Top with sliced cheese. Bake at 300 - 325 for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until cheese is gooey and bread is crispy. Do not let cheese burn.
Remove from oven and slice into 2 inch pieces. Makes about 24 pieces, and serves 8 - 12 as an appetizer.
The variations here are endless: add mushrooms or capers or a few anchovies or sliced black or green olives to the spinach; use diced fresh chiles instead of dried (habs are great if your guests are into it!); try feta or provolone with or instead of mozzarella, etc, etc.
I would be interested in hearing from anyone who tried this or tried their own variation. I bet Popeye never thought of adding chiles to his spinach! Posted to CHILE-HEADS DIGEST V3 #266 by Buffalo Sue <bflosue@...> on Mar 16, 1997
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