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Serves 8

2 10-ounce packages whole-leaf frozen spinach (do not thaw)

4 tablespoons butter, additional for buttering pan

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

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2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

½ cup evaporated milk

Black pepper

¾ teaspoon celery salt

6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into cubes

1 pickled or fresh jalapeño pepper, chopped, or more to taste

½ cup soft buttered breadcrumbs (see note)

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Meanwhile, cook the spinach according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of liquid, and chop finely.

2. Butter a shallow 8-inch-square casserole dish or other shallow 4- to 6-cup baking dish. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan and add flour. Blend and cook two to three minutes. Do not brown. Add onion and garlic.

3. Add the spinach liquid slowly, then add evaporated milk, some black pepper, the celery salt and the cheese. Mix well and add jalapeño and spinach. Cook until all is blended.

4. Turn into the casserole dish, top with buttered breadcrumbs and bake until lightly browned, about 45 minutes.

To make buttered breadcrumbs, combine ½ cup fresh soft breadcrumbs with 1 to 2 tablespoons melted better and toss well.

— Adapted by The New York Times from “Home Cooking” by Laurie Colwin

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