With election year politics in full swing, my interest was piqued by a cookbook called "How to Eat Like a Republican" (Villard Books, $14.95).

Author Susanne Grayson Townsend writes that she is "a recovering advertising executive and a practicing New York City Republican who, since there are so few Republicans in New York to practice with, has plenty of spare time to write books such as 'How to Eat Like a Republican."'

Apparently, Townsend obtained the recipes from prominent Republicans. Many have enough butter, cream, Velveeta and mayo to permanently do a number on Dick Cheney's heart. I guess the slice of white bread on the book's cover of says it all.

"Republicans love vegetables, but only if cooked until everyone is quite sure they're dead," writes Townsend in her breezy, tongue-in-cheek style.

I hope John McCain's Mean Beans recipe is legitimate. Earlier this year, the "McCain Family Recipes" on his campaign Web site appeared to be lifted from the Food Network. We all borrow recipes; if we only cooked our own original recipes there would be a lot of hungry people around dinnertime. But why claim recipes you don't even use?

Utahns might be interested in Orrin's Onion Sandwiches.

The book also includes a "Republican of North America Field Guide":

The New Republican: A Democrat who got rich.

The Boy Republican: The brand-new junior partner at the brokerage/investment banking/real estate firm that, coincidentally, bears his same last name.

The Temporary Republican: A Democrat from New York who, for his own safety, puts an American flag in his lapel and an NRA bumper sticker on his rental car as he travels through Arizona and Orange County, Calif.

MCCAIN'S MEAN BEANS

1 medium onion, chopped

1 teaspoon butter

1 16-ounce can red kidney beans

1 16-ounce can D&M baked beans

1 cup ketchup

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon yellow French's mustard

4 strips of fried bacon, cooled and crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, saute the chopped onion in the butter. In a large baking pot, combine the kidney beans, D&M baked beans, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and crumbled bacon. Add the sauteed onions and mix well.

Bake, covered, for 35 minutes, or until piping hot. Serves 4-6.

ORRIN'S ONION SANDWICHES

24 slices very thin bread or brioche

1 cup good mayonnaise

1 bunch of parsley

Softened unsalted butter

24 thin, thin slices of onion — red, white or Vidalia — or slant-sliced scallions

Make bread rounds by stacking slices of the bread and cruelly jamming a biscuit cutter down through them. (Does anyone have a biscuit cutter anymore? No? Then use an empty can from frozen orange juice.)

Place the mayonnaise and parsley on separate saucers. Butter one bread round, lay a thin same-size round of sliced onion on it, and top with another bread round. Roll the sandwich edges in the mayonnaise, pinwheel style, then in parsley. Repeat until all rounds are used, arranging them smugly on a pretty plate. Cover with a slightly damp towel and refrigerate for 1 hour or more. Serve chilled.


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