A Meatloaf in Every Oven: Cookbook Review

Frank Bruni and Jennifer Steinhauer
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Life & Style (February 7, 2017)
Available via Amazon

Summary from Amazon:

[With] 50 killer recipes, from the best classic takes to riffs by world-famous chefs like Bobby Flay and Mario Batali; from Italian polpettone to Middle Eastern kibbe to curried bobotie; from the authors’ own favorites to those of prominent politicians. Bruni and Steinhauer address all the controversies (Ketchup, or no? Sauté the veggies?) surrounding a dish that has legions of enthusiastic disciples and help you to troubleshoot so you never have to suffer a dry loaf again.


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Seriously? A whole book about meatloaf?

Meatloaf seems so straightforward, but in this book, you realize it is anything but boring! The variations on this humble meal, from Alex Guareselli’s mom’s meatloaf to Rep. Paul Ryan’s venison version, will inspire you to make meatloaf a regular mainstay at your table. I just love that I can pick out a recipe depending on whether I want an indulgent (cheeseburger meatloaf) or weekday meal (chicken with sriracha).

The authors are two friends, who have apparently been emailing, texting, and discussing their shared love of meatloaf for years. There is a little dialogue throughout the book between them, bantering about the “best” recipe or an exchange of a recipe for this shared obsession. I love the natural language and humorous play between chapters, and more importantly, I love all the stories behind the recipes; Each is presented with an accompanying little explanation of why the recipe is included in the book.

We are especially fond of the Buffalo-style chicken wing-so fiery, so tangy. And we were determined to reproduce its magic in a meatloaf (Buffalo-Style Chicken Loaf with Blue Cheese).

Aside from a great story for each recipe, my favorite component of a good cookbook is the index or the contents. This book did not disappoint. The contents includes a clear list of recipes broken down in a very useful manner:

  • Chapter 1: Classics
  • Two: Around the World
  • Three: Lamb
  • Four: CluckCluck Gobble Gobble (a bit of humor like this runs throughout the book)
  • Five: Meatless
  • Six: Guilty Pleasures
  • Seven: Political Postscript (Politician recipes!)
  • Eight: Sides
  • *Index

There was some discussion in the book on whether or not to include “sides” or recipes that were not only meatloaf recipes. I am glad they decided to keep these. I am always looking for great new sides, and these are accompaniments from some of the greatest chefs like Alex Guarnascelli or Bobby Flay.

But all the recipes look great-I of course have to try making a recipe or two, and I did. I made the Spicy Turkey Meatloaf. Although since I don’t like ground turkey, I made it will ground chicken. It was spicy for sure, but not too much so, and the sriacha glaze on top was SO good! So good, a couple of my kids ate it- Whoohoot! (they don’t usually eat meatloaf, so this was big).

spicy meatloaf

Main Take:

Excellent cookbook! I made a chicken meatloaf with sriracha glaze that was super delicious and my kids loved it.  There are lots of offerings from chefs like Alex Guarnaschelli to Paul Ryan (the politician!) mixed in here- but all of the recipes are easy enough for a home cook- plus they added some great side dish offerings so it’s not all meat…you get the potato part and some veg too! Highly Recommend.

As a book reviewer, I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher or author to facilitate this review. I received no other compensation and as always my review and opinion is 100% my own. This post may contain affiliate links- see my full disclosure page.