Politicians have sometimes been accused of "cooking the books," but this year's Utah Legislature actually did cook up a book — of recipes.
The idea came from Ann Alexander and Carole Stephens, wives of Republican House leaders Jeff Alexander, R-Provo, and Marty Stephens, R-Farr West.
The Alexanders, who own a Provo printing company, had published a similar cookbook for the local Rotary Club.
"We thought it would be a fun keepsake to give to each legislator," said Jeff Alexander, House majority whip.
Representatives, senators and staff members contributed one or more of their favorite recipes. The collection represents a variety of tastes, including Stuffed Grape Leaves by Rep. Jackie Biskupski, D-Salt Lake; New England Clam Chowder from Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo; Pumpkin Pie Cake from Rep. Ron Bigelow, R-West Valley City; Swiss Cheese Chicken from Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan; Asian Hoisin Ribs from Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab; and Chicken Lasagna from Rep. Marda Dillree, R-Farmington.
Chicken Enchiladas appear to be a favorite, with similar recipes from House Speaker Marty Stephens, Rep. Loraine Pace, R-Logan, and Rep. Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns.
The book doesn't list the lawmakers' party affiliations, but the recipe from Rep. Scott Daniels, D-Salt Lake City, leaves no doubt about his — "Daniels' Left Wings."
The books were given to legislators, and some staff members have purchased their own, Alexander said. About 250 were left over last week, and those can be bought through the House receptionist by calling 538-1285.
Alexander thinks they are priced at around $12 — "We didn't really think about selling them to the public," he said. Perhaps they should have; it might have helped balance this year's budget.
Here's a sampling of the recipes:
DANIELS' LEFT WINGS
12-14 chicken wings
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3-4 tablespoons hot sauce
When you buy your wings, make sure that you get about an equal number of left and right wings. You'll have to buy about 6 pounds, and sort them out. Reserve the right wings for the recipe that follows.
Pat wings dry. In a bowl, rub 2 tablespoons oil onto wings and season with salt. Grill wings on an oiled rack until cooked through and golden brown, 8-10 minutes on each side. In large skillet, melt butter. Stir in hot sauce, wine and a little salt. Add grilled wings and toss to coat.
Republican Right Wings: Use the reserved right wings from the previous recipe. Use the same recipe, except substitute white vinegar or lemon juice for the wine. The barbecuing must be done in the open to prevent asphyxiation, but the sauce can be prepared in a closed caucus if desired. In barbecuing the wings, take care not to stand too close to the grill if you're carrying a loaded firearm. — Rep. Scott and Chrissy Daniels.
1 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons
Pinch of salt
2 cubes butter
Semisweet chocolate chips
Melt butter, sugar and salt on high heat in a heavy pan. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon and cook until it becomes the color of a paper sack. Pour on buttered cookie sheet and top with semisweet chocolate chips. Allow the chips to melt and then spread the chocolate all over the toffee with a spatula. Top with almonds again. (To toast almonds, lay out almonds on cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 4-5 minutes. Stir often while toasting.) Allow toffee to set and then break into pieces and enjoy. — Rep. Jeff and Ann Alexander.