''The Bad For You Cookbook'' is full of high calorie recipes -- Authors Chris Maynard and Bill Scheller provide an alternative to healthy eating

Call it broccoli backlash. After a decade of broiled scrod and brussels sprouts, some of us are tired of cutting the fat and flavor from our food. At the very least we want to go back to fettucine Alfredo, rice pudding, meatloaf, and liberally buttered mashed potatoes. Fortunately, Villard has just served up The Bad for You Cookbook, by Chris Maynard and Bill Scheller, the guys who wrote Manifold Destiny: The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine. Touted as ”a classic of good taste and bad nutrition,” every one of Bad for You‘s recipes checks in at over 1,000 calories. Maybe that has something to do with the book’s cardinal rule: ”If it can be poached, it can be fried.”

”We’re just a couple of bad boys who don’t like to eat light,” admits Scheller, who is 42. ”We like to go heavy on the butterfat.” But beneath the banter, Scheller is serious about foods like scrapple, doughnut pudding, lard cake, hot fudge sauce, and fried chicken, all of which, he says, are in danger of disappearing from our diets. ”The American-European food tradition is being washed away by a fear of food,” he insists. ”We’re a nation of obsessives. Self-denial is rampant.” It’s a trend he’s seen before: ”Look at the counterculture days, the ’60s. Do you think people ate adzuki beans because they liked them?” So he and coauthor Maynard, 44 — both amateur cooks — embarked on a mission to save some classic recipes (”many of which have the mean density of plutonium”) for posterity: cream biscuits, macaroni pie, killer eggnog, consommé with suet balls, pork cake. Pork cake? ”Yes,” Scheller explains, ”it’s a dense, dark cake, with a gingerbready flavor, and the shortening is finely ground salt pork.”

It may be hard to believe, but both authors are quite trim. Scheller — who suffers from neither high blood pressure nor soaring cholesterol — preaches moderation when it comes to diet. ”I follow the four food groups,” he says. ”I don’t make the more outrageous recipes in the book more than a few times a month. But I’m not afraid to eat them, either. I don’t live in mortal fear of fat and salt. I don’t look at a glass of heavy cream and think it’s going to kill me.” But moderation is as moderation does. ”I won’t speak for Chris,” he says, ”but I eat three meals a day, and I like a good dinner. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional large meal, washed down with copious amounts of alcohol and topped off with a sugary dessert.”