This spicy spinach dish is one of the most famous recipes in the River Road Recipes cookbook series. It was invented by St. Francisville, Louisiana, native Madeline Wright in 1956 and published three years later in the first edition of the cookbook. After Kraft’s jalapeño cheese roll — the key ingredient of the dish — was discontinued — the Junior League’s River Road Recipes committee came up with a feasible substitution: Kraft Velveeta® cheese and chopped jalapeño peppers.
- 2 packages frozen chopped spinach
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- ½ cup vegetable liquor (water from spinach)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon celery salt
- ¾ teaspoon garlic salt
- Salt to taste
- 6 ounces Kraft Velveeta cheese, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeño peppers
- Red pepper to taste
- Cook spinach according to directions on package. Drain and reserve liquor. Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Add flour, stirring until blended and smooth, but not brown. Add onion and cook until soft but not brown. Add all liquids slowly, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook until smooth and thick; continue stirring. Add seasonings and pieces of cheese. Add jalapeños. Stir until cheese is melted. Combine with cooked spinach. This may be served immediately or put into a casserole and topped with buttered bread crumbs. The flavor is improved if the latter is done and it’s kept in the refrigerator overnight. This may also be frozen.