Spinach Balls with Mustard Sauce

Oct 7, 2012 by

There are some foods that do so much more than just satisfy your taste buds.  They invoke memories of more innocent, carefree times.  And love of family.  And pure joy.   The spinach balls featured above don’t just make me smile as I eat them, they hold a special place in my heart because they remind me of being a child at my grandparents house in Cincinnati.   At their big house on Rogers Park filled with too many people to count, I would wait  (patiently? probably not…) for the coveted spinach balls to come out of the oven, hoping that I could get one or maybe two in my mouth before the rest of the family devoured them. There were times when my grandfather could not make it out of the kitchen before they were gone, and soon he was putting another batch in. Even as an adult at family gatherings, you will find me perched near the oven ready to pounce, usually with a fellow cousin waiting to do the same.  These days, my uncle David can’t even get them onto the platter before I’ve snatched one with my greedy little hand.

The truth of the matter is that Food (with a capital F) was and remains central to Raasch family gatherings.  It is the glue that brings us together.  We all contribute to making and eating and sharing.  That is probably why cooking and entertaining is such a wonderful creative release to me.  In short, it reminds me that I am loved.

I believe to entertain well is to bring people together for something that not only satisfies their tummies, but warms their heart.  You want to give them those moments that will stick with them through a week of inevitable ups and downs.  So when I bring out a platter of spinach balls, I’m not just serving guests a simple appetizer comprised of eggs, spinach, stuffing mix, cheese and butter.  I’m serving up memories, love and joy from the whole family, just as my grandpa would want me to do.

The spinach balls themselves are one of the simplest recipes to make provided you make sure to get all of the water out of the frozen spinach.  I have no idea where the recipe came from originally or if the one I have is exactly the one others in my family have.  But I do know this is the recipe I am most asked for by friends.

The mustard is a little trickier than the spinach balls themselves.  Only recently have I learned to get it right, probably because I didn’t have a double boiler the first 25 times I made them for a party.  And probably because I always never planned ahead well enough to soak the dried mustard in the vinegar for at least 4 hours.  In fact, at a recent party, I ran out of time and energy and served the spinach balls without the mustard — a cardinal sin.

Note:  The key to the mustard making is to keep that whisk moving from the moment you drop that egg yolk into the double boiler, and as you add the sugar and then the mustard and vinegar mixture.  That is what makes it smooth and yummy.

The fact that this was probably my most favorite thing to eat as a child means that this can be a good vehicle for getting eggs and spinach in your own children.  However, be advised that there is also plenty of stuffing mix and butter as well, so it’s not exactly a purely healthy treat.  You can probably cut back on the butter if you want to (I’ve done this a couple of times).  They still taste good.  Just not AS GOOD.  But try them.  They are easy peazy, lemon squeezey, as my daughter Sophie would say gobbling one up with a smile.

Spinach Balls with Mustard Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Starter
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
 
Bite-size spinach balls with homemade mustard sauce. Perfect for large party entertaining!
Ingredients
  • 2 packages of frozen spinach
  • 2 cups of dry stuffing mix (e.g., Pepperidge Farm)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ cup melted better
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup dried mustard
  • ½ cup white vinegar
Instructions
Spinach Balls
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Thaw spinach and squeeze dry.
  3. Beat eggs.
  4. Add stuffing mix, melted butter, Parmesan to eggs and mix well with a spoon.
  5. Form little balls of the mixture.
  6. Put on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 and cook until golden brown. Turn over and continue to cook until golden brown (approximately 15-20 minutes).
Mustard Sauce
  1. Soak dried mustard in vinegar for 4 hours.
  2. Beat one egg yolk and heat in a double boiler and whisk in sugar gradually.
  3. Gradually add mustard mixture and stir constantly until slightly thickened, 10-12 minutes.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Christine

    Love this recipe, Julie! I’m planning on making it as an appetizer for my Thanksgiving dinner. Just wondering if there is a another step to the mustard sauce instructions? Your blog post mentions soaking the dry mustard in the vinegar for 4 hours, so I am assuming that’s what we should do before adding the mustard mixture to the egg yolk in the double boiler?

  2. Yes! Sorry! I just updated the recipe. Forgot a step. You soak the dried mustard in vinegar for 4 hours. Then you heat the egg in the double boiler…Whoops!

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