Food fads may come and go, but many American households still have ``meat loaf night'' once a week. What a relief, then, to have this new book from McLaughlin ( Back of the Box Gourmet ), in which he assigns a different meat loaf for every week of the year. Granted, some of these versions seem fairly fancy for everyday fare: ``Pretty Much Pate'' calls for chicken livers, ground veal, garlic and leeks, while ``Veal Cordon Bleu Roulade'' gives ''a little country club class to ordinary meat loaf'' by tucking Swiss cheese and ham slices inside the loaf. McLaughlin, who understands secret yearnings for ``Classic Interstate Meat Loaf'' made with ``ketchup in and ketchup on,'' is a Brooklyn-based author and food industry consultant. Some of the recipes appear to be fugitives from his earlier book, such as ``Campbell's Meat Loaf Wellington'' and ``Kellogg's Spicy Tomato Mini-Loaves.'' No matter. The main point of baking a meat loaf is to make the most of what's in the pantry. Need proof? McLaughlin's ``Dream Loaf,'' which he considers ``the ultimate expression of the entire genre,'' is made with Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, crumbled saltine crackers, ketchup and bacon. Likewise, ``Ann Landers's Good Advice Meat Loaf'' is redolent with Accent and Lipton onion soup mix. Despite the cutesy asides and kitschy '50s illustrations, which poke fun at good old American food, McLaughlin really does know his meat loaf. (Jan.)
The author of "The Back of the Box Gourmet" has written a cookbook for the ultimate comfort food, meat loaf. From "Classic Interstate Meat Loaf" to "Two-Meat Loaf with Sun-Dried Tomatoes," this book has a loaf for every palate. A chapter entitled "Alternative Loaf Styles" will satisfy the health-conscious chef, utilizing such low-fat ingredients as chicken and turkey. Another chapter gives back-of-the-box recipes for the busy cook, such as "Campbell's Meat Loaf Wellington." One chapter consists of celebrity recipes (for instance, "Ann Landers' Good Advice Meat Loaf"). Alongside each of the 52 innovative recipes McLaughlin includes a recipe for what he considers the loaf's perfect side dish, finishing touches (e.g., what type of dessert to serve), and advice on leftovers. Black-and-white clip art and photographs from the 1950s and a section on meat loaf technique are included.