At a recent “A Tiger in the Kitchen” reading at Powell’s Books in Beaverton, Oregon, a young man asked a question I’ve been getting a fair bit: “What’s your favorite thing to cook?”
It’s a sound question, given my book is a memoir told through food and cooking. And my answer always surprises people: “Meatloaf.”
Although Tiger is about a year I spent traveling to Singapore, where I was born, to rediscover my native culture by learning how to cook, in my Brooklyn kitchen, it’s often good old American meatloaf that I turn to when I’m looking for something easy, satisfying — and likely to yield lots of leftovers. My obsession with meatloaf began when I moved to the United States at age 18. I had never encountered this brick of meat before — it was truly exotic to me.
Since I mention this fact in the book, some readers have been awfully generous in sharing their prized meatloaf recipes. And when my book tour recently took me to Seattle, where I had a lovely catch up with a dear, dear friend, he happened to mention a magical meatloaf recipe that he adores.
The moment I saw the name of Russ’s recipe — “Apple Cheese Loaf” — I knew I had to try it …