WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCCO) — If any political pundits were hoping to use the results of this year’s Minnesota hotdish contest as any sort of bellwether for the upcoming 2012 elections, they may be disappointed to hear the event ended in a tie.
Which was entirely appropriate, since Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation put aside their party differences for one day to battle it out in the kitchen instead.
Sen. Al Franken hosted his second annual hotdish competition Wednesday to see whose casserole reigns supreme, and the democratic senator’s presentation was chosen as one of the two winning dishes. The other belonged to republican Minnesota Rep. Chip Cravaack.
Franken’s dish was called Mom’s Mahnomin Madness Hotdish, and was made with wild rice, turkey and water chestnuts. Cravaack’s winning entry was a Minnesota Wild Strata, an egg bake that also featured wild rice, as well as pork sausage and cream of mushroom soup.
Last year’s winner Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Tim Walz, Rep. Erik Paulsen and Rep. Collin Peterson participated in the event. However, all Minnesota representatives were invited to participate.
The friendly “Hotdish Off” began last year as a way to bring the delegation together, put aside partisanship and focus on Minnesota as a whole.
Each delegation member will be serving their own Minnesota-inspired hot dish on behalf of their office. Former Congressman Vin Weber, a republican, and Gerry Sikorski, a democrat, have agreed to judge the competition. Both were judges last year, as well.
The event wasn’t entirely without political undertones. Bachmann’s dish was called “St. Croix River Crossing Hotdish,” a reference to the Stillwater bridge that Bachmann has made a priority as of late. The hotdish was intended to bridge “Minnesota Meat and Wisconsin Cheddar.”
Klobuchar’s winning dish last year was a “Taconite Tater-Tot Hotdish.”