This section is from the book "Real Cookery", by Grid. Also available from Amazon: Real Cookery.
The "messy" entree-The too rich entree- The flabby entree, and why always mashed potatoes as a basis for the " flabby " ?
Of course you require a fuller bill of fare for a regular dinner party, with soup, ices, and dessert. You will study to a nicety the oppositions in colour and in flavour of the dishes, plain though they be. Each dish then forming a pleasing contrast to the preceding one and each being first-rate of its kind, you may rest contented with only one or, at most, two made dishes or entrees as a fillip to your otherwise simple dinner. Being a sensible man, you will know that your entree should not be a messy, decorative monstrosity, but a daintily cooked, digestible dish. Do not attempt to set before your guests such doubly rich and utterly indigestible horrors as a terrine de foie gras, covered with a salade russe (a vegetable salad drowned in mayonnaise sauce).
Another fashionable and hideously unwholesome dish is mousse de foie gras, made of tinned goose livers, whipped up with cream. The French way of preparing it is a very different one: Fresh goose livers, whipped up with champagne, cooked with fresh truffles and served moulded in aspic jelly. As a matter of fact, the average pate, or terrine de foie gras is not a first-rate article, greasy as a rule and containing a good deal of sausage meat The very finest pates en croute are, of course, an exception, but you can approach them very nearly by potting fresh goose livers with fresh truffles. Both can be had at Benoist's in Piccadilly.
On the other hand eschew the vapid, flabby style of entree. I mean dishes of the boiled fowl kind, with a flour and milk-cum-nutmeg sauce, or the fried sweetbread floating in an acid, " tomato-extract" soup. I fancy these unsophisticated attempts at entrees have very nearly gone out of fashion, but they survive in the shape of equally flabby and tasteless, if more ornamental, dishes such as supreme (breasts) of chicken, adorned with insipid preserved truffles, or soaking, in the form of cutlets, around a heap of vapid tinned green peas, all walled in by little mounds or a wreath of mashed potatoes. If the chicken were accompanied by a dish of fresh, grilled, but not overcooked mushrooms no larger than a florin, it might find favour with your guests without costing more.