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For day 2 of the quote challenge, here’s food writer and critic Ruth Reichl, with a philosophy on which guests to invite for dinner!

Anyone who thinks they’re too grown up or too sophisticated to eat caramel corn, is not invited to my house for dinner

Ruth’s latest book is her first novel, and it came out in paperback in May. Delicious!

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ruth reichlFollowing my post on summer reading, a comment alerted me to the writing of food critic Ruth Reichl and I decided to seek her out for my recent trip.  I was delighted I did because she really is a great writer, passionate and a brilliant story teller, with a wonderful way of describing food.

I read ‘Comfort Me With Apples’ a memoir from the time when she first became a restaurant critic up to the birth of her son.   Her adventures are extraordinary, as is the food she tastes along the way, and she makes the flavours and the experiences come alive.

The book also features recipes, and this is one I’ve copied down to try as soon as I have a day spare when I can eat as much garlic as I like without inflicting it on a wider public!

Dottie’s Spinach from ‘Comfort Me With Apples’ by Ruth Reichl

2 pounds (3 10 ounce bags) fresh spinach, coarse stems removed
2 onions chopped
1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
12 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

Wash the spinach well and drain it in a colander.  Put half of the spinach, with water clinging to its leaves, in a heavy p6 to 8 quart pot and cook over a moderate heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until slightly wilted, about 1 minute.  Add the remaining spinach and continue to cook over moderate heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until wilted but still bright green, about 1 minute more.  Drain the spinach in a colander.  When the spincach is cool enough to handle, squeeze it dry in small handfuls and chop finely.

Preheat the oven to 350F

Melt the butter in a large, deep, heavy skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides.  Cook the onion in the butter, with salt and pepper to taste, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Add the cheese and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the cheese is melted and all the ingredients are combined will.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper and spread in a well-buttered heavy 1 1/2 to 2 quart shallow baking dish.  Sprinkle the top evenly with bread crumbs and bake in the middle of the oven until golden brown on top and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.

Serves 6 as a side dish.

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