The compilers of this collection--a cookbook editor and a restaurant owner--have gathered easy recipes for a contemporary assortment of simple dishes (the publishers call it ""new-style comfort food"") from dozens of other well-known cookbook authors and recipe writers, many of whom are perky interpreters themselves. The result is an anthology that anyone might find handy, although no one is going to learn to cook from these often clever little toss-offs, and many will prefer to put together their own recipe scrapbooks. Then too, directions and descriptions are sometimes too sketchy for a novice, yet the survey approach and occasional oversimplification won't satisfy serious cooks. (In perhaps the worst sequence, the one pilaf recipe starts with cooked rice and is not a real pilaf, the one risotto is Barbara Kafka's microwave version, and the one couscous has you mix the packaged product with water and bake--an insult to the real, properly steamed thing.) Isn't there something a little tacky about this kind of recycling job when our shelves are already bulging with bright but ephemeral creations and adaptations?