From the vieux carre of New Orleans comes the famed Creole cuisine--a potpourri of French, Spanish and Anglo-Saxon, piqued with the inventiveness of the Louisiana Cajuns. Revelling in the unusual, it is the imaginative ingredients like file powder (dried sassafras leaves) and chapons (bread dipped in garlic for salads) that fashion the specialties of gumbos, jambalayas, and roties (roasts). Creole magic with seafood is well-known: pompano en papillote, all manner of ""swimps"", even Oysters Rockefeller. Surprisingly simple, the French subtitles disguise delicacies easily and quickly prepared; the secrets are salads, sauces, abundant alcohol in the pan, and ultimately, the therapeutic and essential Cafe Noir. The variety is astounding; the dishes tantalizing; and the recipes uncomplicated. A glimpse at these pages should provoke any Yankee chef to conjure her own domestic version of an evening at Galatoire's. Linecuts.