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Thread: Best tips for thawing frozen spinach?

  1. #1
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    Best tips for thawing frozen spinach?

    I know there are lots of great tricks out there to defrost spinach and get rid of the excess liquid. Would appreciate anyone willing to share . . .

  2. #2
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    Defrosting is easy. Just keep your bags or boxes in a bowl in the fridge for a few days. If you run out of time and need to put it in water in the sink, & then drain & redo, that's OK, as you'll need to squeeze out the water eventually.

    I've made Ina Garten's Spinach Gratin for years, and the A#1 best way I've found to squeeze the water out of spinach is to use a potato ricer (looks like a giant garlic press). Put about half a box at a time (about 5 ounces) into the ricer, and squeeze like crazy over your sink. Go slowly, though, as squeezing too fast can explode some of the spinach straight up into your face, or out onto the countertop (voice of experience, believe me ). Then use tongs to grab the hunks of spinach out of the ricer; drop them into a bowl. The dried spinach can easily be fluffed with your fingers a little bit, if you want to break up the clumps.
    If you're afraid of butter, use cream. ~~ Julia Child

    As you cook, you enjoy omniscience about food that no amount of label reading can match. Having retaken control of the meal from the food scientists, you know exactly what is in it. (Unless you start w/cream of mushroom soup, in which case all bets are off.) To reclaim control over one's food, to take it back from industry & science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time, cooking from scratch qualifies as subversive. ~~ Michael Pollan

  3. #3
    I learned this in a Maryland Gourmet Foods Class:

    "Trick of dry spinach to be used in a recipe: No need for pressing in a strainer. Just place the spinach on a plate, cover it with another plate (same side up). Holding vertically, press the two plates together, over the sink, until liquid stops flowing. Result = VERY dry spinach!"

  4. #4
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    After defrosting (either in the refrig or microwave), I do use a strainer. I just plop it in and press with a spoon.

    Kay

  5. #5
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    Once thawed (I just let mine sit in the fridge), I use a potato ricer to press out the water!
    Joe

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  6. #6
    I defrost one frozen box of spinach like this....take off just the outside paper wrapper, put the box in microwavable dish and microwave for 6 minutes...then drain....

    Can't wait to try the two plate draining technique!
    "You can live a perfectly normal life if you accept the fact that your life will never be perfectly normal." -Randy Glasbergen

  7. #7

    Exclamation Squeezing out water in spinach-warning

    This year I tried the 2 plate method mentioned in this thread and an earlier one and I snapped one of my mother's vintage Fiestaware plates! Take care and watch your own strength if using this method. I ended up squeezing the water out by hand. I think the ricer method seems safest-they are made to handle alot more stress than plates!
    "Women and cats will do as they please,
    and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." - Unknown

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADM View Post
    I learned this in a Maryland Gourmet Foods Class:

    "Trick of dry spinach to be used in a recipe: No need for pressing in a strainer. Just place the spinach on a plate, cover it with another plate (same side up). Holding vertically, press the two plates together, over the sink, until liquid stops flowing. Result = VERY dry spinach!"
    I do almost the same thing but I use bowls instead of plates...one inside the other and press...gently works like a charm!

    ~Gail
    "I expect to pass through life but once.
    If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do any fellow being, let me do it now and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again."
    -William Penn (1644-1718)

    ~~www.Nurse-Gail.com~~

  9. #9
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    Question about still-watery spinach

    Can anyone answer this one for me? I used the potato ricer to dry spinach for T'g, but this time I'd bought a big bag of spinach instead of the boxes. I was dismayed to find that after I dried it all with the ricer & let it sit for awhile during other recipe prep, the spinach was soaking by the time I was ready to use it! I hand-squeezed out TONS of water, when the ricer had always been enough in several prior uses!

    Do you think there's any difference b/w the boxed spinach & the bagged stuff? It's all 100% spinach . . . go figure.
    If you're afraid of butter, use cream. ~~ Julia Child

    As you cook, you enjoy omniscience about food that no amount of label reading can match. Having retaken control of the meal from the food scientists, you know exactly what is in it. (Unless you start w/cream of mushroom soup, in which case all bets are off.) To reclaim control over one's food, to take it back from industry & science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time, cooking from scratch qualifies as subversive. ~~ Michael Pollan

  10. #10
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    I've noticed the bags at TJ's are whole leaf, whereas the boxes I buy are chopped - could that somehow account for it?
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canice View Post
    I've noticed the bags at TJ's are whole leaf, whereas the boxes I buy are chopped - could that somehow account for it?
    The weird thing is that both the boxes and the bag were chopped--and you'd think that chopped would release more water than whole-leaf anyway.
    If you're afraid of butter, use cream. ~~ Julia Child

    As you cook, you enjoy omniscience about food that no amount of label reading can match. Having retaken control of the meal from the food scientists, you know exactly what is in it. (Unless you start w/cream of mushroom soup, in which case all bets are off.) To reclaim control over one's food, to take it back from industry & science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time, cooking from scratch qualifies as subversive. ~~ Michael Pollan

  12. #12
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    For me, thawing blocks of spinach in the frig takes way too long, and it always seems to have ice crystals inside even after days. So I microwave it on reduced power for a bit, let it cool, wrap in good-quality paper towels or cheesecloth, then squeeze it between my hands. It gets really dry if you really squeeze hard. Sometimes if my paper towels are flimsy, I cover it all with a thin kitchen towel, and wring it.

  13. #13
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    I use the low tech method - grab a handful and squeeze. I thaw in the fridge overnight.

  14. #14
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    I use an old dishtowel, place the thawed spinach in it, and wring out the water. For defrosting, I put the frozen block of spinach in microwave for 5 min on high.

  15. #15
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    Salad Spinner

    My friend and I were making a dish the needed 4 boxes of spinach. She suggested using the salad spinner and it worked really well.

  16. #16
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    Wow, what great tips. I never thought of using the potato ricer. I'm going to try that next time for sure. I've always used the low-tech method myself. Defrost in the micro (I guess that's not really low-tech though, is it?) and then squeeze it by hand or in paper towels. But I like these other methods better.
    TKay

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