What’s the one thing that can bring together Democratic Sen. Al Franken and Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann? A Minnesota hotdish.
For the fourth year in a row on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Minnesota lawmakers competed in the annual Minnesota Congressional Hotdish Competition, which was organized by Franken. A hotdish is considered a Minnesota delicacy — basically their fancy term for what most people call a casserole.
“In Washington, you say, ‘Hotdish’ to someone, they go, ‘What?’ and then you say ‘Casserole,’ and they go, “Oh, OK,” Franken said to laughter.
All 10 lawmakers representing Minnesota participated in the hotdish-off. The requirements: Each hot dish must contain a starch, a protein and a canned liquid. The hotdishes were scored in three categories – taste, texture and consistency, and Minnesota components. Two former congressmen from Minnesota – Republican Rep. Vin Weber and Democratic Rep. Gerry Sikorski – served as official judges in the blind taste test.
This year, Bachmann, who will retire at the end of the year, was convinced she would win in her final contest.
“I think clearly it’s been fixed. Year after year after year, I’ve been shut out, frozen out, you might say, and so I think this year is the ticket. I’ve crossed my fingers and this will be the year,” Bachmann told ABC News. “I’m 100 percent Norwegian, so there’s no one here who could even compete in my league when it comes to hotdish. I’ve been a mother to 28 children so clearly I get cooking hotdish and feeding it to hungry mouths.”
Bachmann’s hotdish was called the “Polar Vortex-Mex Hot Dish,” a spicy mix of beef, pork and chorizo.
But the congresswoman failed to take home the prize. Instead, Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., took the grand prize for the second year in a row with his “Turkey Trot Tator Tot Hotdish.”
— Al Franken (@alfranken) March 12, 2014
Tying for second place were Rep. John Kline’s, R-Minn, “Morning ‘Hot Chow’ Hotdish”, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s, D-Minn., “‘It’s So Cold My Hotdish Froze’ Dessert Hotdish.”
The recipes for all the hotdishes can be found on Franken’s website.