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So, You Want to Make Paul Ryan’s Meatloaf?

February 6, 2017

In these odd times, it’s hard to imagine a topic of conversation on Capitol Hill that would surprise people. But here’s one: meatloaf. Paul Ryan, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Maine Senator Susan Collins all have opinions on the classic American dish, captured by New York Times’s Op-Ed columnist Frank Bruni and Washington reporter Jennifer Steinhauer in their brand new book, A Meatloaf in Every Oven. Even President Trump has opinions. We understand deep-fried dishes from the Iowa State Fair and those burgers elected officials are always photographed eating with their sleeves rolled up, but why meatloaf? For Bruni, who was the Gray Lady's chief restaurant critic from 2004 through 2009, meatloaf was the one thing he felt confident cooking in the kitchen; he was otherwise a timid cook (he calls himself “shy with a spatula”). For Steinhauer, who spends her day grilling members of congress, it was an easy fix for a time-pressed mother to prepare, as well as a dish that she and her daughters bonded over. Plus, in this world of elevated comfort food, when almost every chef has a deluxe hot dog or fried chicken sandwich in his or her arsenal, no one has glorified meatloaf. Its brief moment in the spotlight came when Graydon Carter reopened the Monkey Bar almost a decade ago and temporarily put Nora Ephron’s recipe on the menu. (Coincidentally, this book is dedicated to the great Ephron, who was a good friend of Bruni and Steinhauer: She "relished meatloaf as much as she did life," the inscription reads.) The book includes 50 recipes with delightful illustrations throughout—"It's not a Pinterest ready dish," observes...

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