New book brings Meatloaf Bakery to your kitchen
I’ve heard it happen a number of times. When people first learn of the Meatloaf Bakery in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, they ask, “There’s a meatloaf bakery?” It is as if the idea that the quintessential comfort food could actually be the basis of a whole shop is ludicrous, too much to ask for.
Yet there it is, at 2464 N. Clark St., where owner Cynthia Kallile has been dishing up several versions of the hearty dish since 2008. And now, she’s sharing her creations with a wider audience through “The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook: Comfort Food With a Twist” (Adams Media, $19.95). It’s a handsome volume, with photos of every dish (so rare these days and so frustrating when you want to know just how a dish is supposed to come out), plus behind-the-scenes shots of the shop and its food truck, the Meatloaf-a-Go-Go.
In an opening that’s helpful to the novice, Kallile explains the structure of a basic loaf – the meat (she touts a classic blend of beef, veal and pork, but also includes lamb, poultry and salmon or tuna), filler (breadcrumbs, though she is partial to crushed butter cracker), binders (eggs and dairy) and flavorings (spices, vegetables). It’s a primer that encourages a build-your-own point of view. She then describes one of the most important aspects of meatloaf construction, mixing, emphasizing to use your hands but don’t overmix.
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