Rarely do I find a useful cookbook that is also fun to read, but this one is both: A Meatloaf in Every Oven: Two Chatty Cooks, One Iconic Dish and Dozens of Recipes – from Mom’s to Mario Batali’s.
A sampling of the passion these authors have for meatloaf:
“Show us a person’s meatloaf and we’ll show you that person’s soul. Meatloaf is a mirror: You are how you loaf.”
“Meatloaf is a metaphor: It’s life made loaf. You take what’s precious (in this case, the meat) and stretch it as far as it’ll go.”
This cookbook obviously focuses on meatloaf but it includes recipes from traditional to vegetarian to cultural favorites. The recipes include favorites from several famous chefs to politicians on both sides of the aisle. In total you get about 50 meatloaf recipes grouped into categories with dialogue and commentary included. There is a section at the end that includes yummy sides.
The book also provides helpful basic tips and techniques that span loaves:
“We generally shun meatloaf pans, which make infrequent appearances in these pages. There are two reasons: It’s more difficult to slice meatloaf and cleanly remove these portions from a narrow plan in which the loaf is snugly ensconced, its sides wedged tightly against the metal sides. Also, a meatloaf, as it cooks, often juices…if there is space around the meatloaf these juices have a place to pool and you can spoon them back over the loaf as it cooks or over the slices before you serve them.”
The authors claim that if you don’t like meatloaf you’ve been eating the wrong meatloaf or it’s been cooked too long! They would always err towards undercooking.
Some meatloaves I plan to try from this book include “Buffalo-Style Chicken Loaf with Blue Cheese,” “Crab and Shrimp Loaf Muffins” and “Daniel Patterson’s Zucchini Loaf.”
See, there really is a meatloaf for everyone!
I’m putting this book in my “Giftable” category because this book would make a good gift for a reading cook on your list.
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