Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., can add "cookbook author," to his roster of achievements that also includes Capitol Hill lawmaker and "Saturday Night Live" comedian. On Friday, the Minnesota Democrat released, for download online, the book "Senator Franken's Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Off." The cookbook contains this year's recipes from a tradition that Franken brought to the Senate in 2011 -- the annual Hotdish Off -- in which Minnesota lawmakers compete to make the best hotdish.
So what's a hotdish exactly? "To those who don't speak 'Minnesotan,' it's a lot like a casserole that 'goes real good' with jello or a salad, along with bars (pan-baked cookies) for dessert," the cookbook explains.
Recipes include Sen. Amy Klobuchar's, D-Minn., "Hormel 'I can't believe it's not Spam' Pepperoni Pizza Hotdish." (It really isn't Spam -- with the main ingredients listed as pepperoni, ground beef and rotini.) Franken's contribution is his Willmar Stew, which includes turkey thighs, pork shoulder and pork sausage. "Just the right dish to serve with salad, beer, bread and a Vikings game," he boasts. Also included is this year's winning dish, Rep. Tim Walz's, D-Minn., Hermann the German Hotdish, made from brats, beer and tater tots.