Companion to a book on New England inns. Neither volume suggests that good cooking reigns unalloyed in the Northeast, but there are nice moments among the chaff. This is not for pursuers of historic tradition or the dernier cri The selection is frankly middlebrow, Those who will feel most at home are fans of very sweet quick breads and muffins, three-bean salad, chicken cacciatore, the occasional canned-soup sauce, and peanut butter cookies. For cooks with wider horizons there is sweet-and-sour cabbage, a vegetable soup made with leftover prime rib, trout poached on a bed of lettuce leaves and stuffed with a simple mixture of aromatic vegetables, and good old Drover's Inn cheese soup. You will also find an occasional would-be-gourmet extravaganza like duck breasts, Catskill duck foie gras, and endive with hollowed-out onion cups of cranberry sauce. Directions are sometimes imprecise, and restaurant-scale recipes often seem skewed in the adapting--would the Algonquin Hotel really use a cup of flour to 3 pounds of beef and less than 1 1/2 quarts of liquid in its Hungarian Beef Stew? Conversely, many recipes are for a single serving and will have to be multiplied for company. Hopeful cooks should expect to fiddle and adjust to taste--but it's retrospective inn-hopping, not taste, that's the object here.