The cooks are men in a hurry: they're on their way to a fire. So no time for frills and niceties -- firefighters opt for the fastest, heartiest, and CHEAPEST recipes in America. And even then, they'll find some shortcuts the Ladies' Auxiliary never told them about. A firefighter will never use a mixing bowl if he can stir the batter in the baking pan; he understands the virtue of the one-dish supper; he will never cut and chop if there's a pre-packaged, canned or dehydrated version, or simmer and reduce when Campbell's will do almost as well. . . . The Baton Rouge company's recipe for Jambalaya demystifies that regional speciality down to basics, and likewise for the Shreveport Gumbo, the Hawaiian contributions, or the Mexicano dishes from the boys in Texas. There are also chowders, stews, casseroles, pot roasts, meat loaves, burgers, chili, fritters, barbecues, cakes, cookies and pies -- plain home-style cooking, with ingredients for a family of five or a firehouse of ten. As easy-to-prepare and willing-to-compromise as Peg Bracken's hate-to-cookbooks of a few years back, with an entertaining motif.