Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Spinach Squeezer

I only make goat cheese quiche for people I love.  

That's because squeezing the spinach for it is such a pain.  And, squeezing 4 lbs of spinach to feed 21 people, well, that's more love than my arms can take. 

So, after 21 loved ones had consumed the better part of 5 goat cheese quiches last week, I was bemoaning my dead arms and wondering if such a device as an Automatic Spinach Squeezer existed. 

Spouse 1.0 said, "Why not use a coffee press?"

Yup, you can tell he's been married to me for 23.5 years. Never mind "42."  The answer is "coffee."

I'm rather ashamed that I didn't think of it first.

The next night I was chatting with a chef. He'd never heard of a spinach squeezer. He just uses a salad spinner then finishes with squeezing.

Sorry, not good enough.  I need something that will eliminate the squeezing, not reduce it.

So, out and about, I started examing coffee presses. One had a double layer of mesh. Kind of flimsy. And, whooeee! What a mess to clean that would be! 

Another had a layer of mesh between two metal plates.  The top plate had little holes.  I wondered if one could remove the mesh.

It'd been so long since I had a coffee press, I'd forgotten that they disassemble so you can clean them.

So, finally I picked up an inexpensive spinach, coffee press and began my spinach squeezing experiment. 

Disassemble. Wash.  Reassemble, sans mesh.

Cook up some spinach. 

I started to let it cool, then realized. Duh. The Spinach Squeezer used to be a coffee press. It can handle hot things.

OK. Insert spinach. Insert pressing mechanism, sans mesh. Begin pressing.

It took a lot more pressure than I remember coffee making taking, but it did remove quite a bit of liquid. 

The spinach wasn't as dry as I would have liked it, but I think it's dry enough for quiche.  (I'll know Saturday morning when the next batch of loved ones get some quiche.)

Unlike normal squeezing methods, I was able to capture the juice, which might make a nice addition to my next batch of lentil soup.

So, do I recommend running out to your local merchant and picking up a Bodum Spinach Squeezer?  I'm not sure.  I guess I'll need to use it a few more times before deciding whether I can start making goat cheese quiche for people I merely like.