Spinach Maria

  1. Thaw spinach in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  Squeeze as much excess water as possible out of the spinach.
  2. Heat mulk and spices in 4-quart saucepan on medium heat to just below a boil (190 degrees).  Then reduce heat and simmer.
  3. Finely chop the onion and saute it in 1 tablespoon butter on medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes.  Add to saucepan.  Combine the 5 tablespoons melted butter with the flour in a small saute pan. (This is the first step of making a roux, which will thicken the sauce.)  Mix until completely blended.  Cook on low heat 3 to 4 minutes to make roux.  Add roux to milk in saucepan and mix well. Cook until sauce thickens.
  4. Cut the Velveeta, cheddar and Jack cheese into small cubes and add to saucepan.  Continue to mix until all the cheese is cimpletely melted and blended into the sauce.  Be careful not to burn the sauce while the cheese is melted.  Remove from heat.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  5. Add drained spinach to cheese sauce, mix until completely blended.  Sppon into a 11-by-9-by2-inch or large casserole and top with grated Monterey Jack cheese.  Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes, until hot and bubbly.  Yield: 12 servings.