Pâtés & Other Marvelous Meat Loaves

"Pâtés, terrines, and galantines sound exotic and difficult to make, but basically they are just marvelous meat loaves." So begins the introduction to this 1972 cookbook by Dorothy Ivens (also the author of Glorious Stew; we are still waiting for her Magnificent Meatballs opus). The 229-pager contains more than 50 recipes for cold loaves (like the aforementioned trio); pastry-covered loaves (beef loaf in pastry, English pasties); fish loaves (saumon en croûte, ham & clam loaf); meat loaves (pork/sausage, pork/apple, Middle Eastern lamb,veal loaf); stuffed vegetables (from Balkan stuffed eggplant to Mexican cabbage rolls -- an admittedly weak chapter); and hot/cold sauces to pair with the patés and such.

But the strength of this book is the first section on cold pâtés, terrines, and galantines.

The recipes are so classic as to not be dated at all -- although nowadays some folks might leave out the hard boiled eggs. Ms. Ivens takes the reader step-by-step in preparing the sort of dishes that are always crowd-pleasers yet rarely presented in homes or restaurants; the labor-intensiveness has something to do with this. Yet while a good galantine (French-influenced, de-boned,, stuffed meat) takes some time to make, it is eminently doable for the novice cook if the steps are followed.

I purchased the book at Filene's Basement in the Eighties, probably because, as a faded price tag on the front cover attests, it only cost a buck. It was a savvy investment, as I ended up using some recipes when I worked at a French restaurant in New York called Prunelle. They worked out, well, marvelously, and the loaves only get better as leftovers. As Ivens writes, "like money in the bank if they are not used up the first time around."

A new, hardcover copy of the cookbook sells on Amazon for $58.39; used copies like mine start at $3.53. There are no photos, only illustrations by the author. Not sure it was ever a best-seller, but it currently takes up Amazon rank #3,568,766 -- a record low rating for the Short Order cookbook series! Then again, it is 38 years old.

Pâtés & Other Marvelous Meat Loaves
Author: Dorothy Ivens
Publisher: J.P. Lippincott Co.

Tomorrow: A recipe for pork rillettes (potted pork).

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Miami New Times' restaurant reviewer for the past decade, and the world's indisputable master of disguise.
Contact: Lee Klein