Is Salami and Eggs Better than Sex? by Alan King and Mimi Sheraton (Little Brown: $15.95, 215 pp.).

Looking for comic relief between heavy-duty cookbook reading? Try King's book. And I really don't think King needed Sheraton for this funny book on cooking with recipes, although her comments (written as dialogue to King's), recipe writing and prestigious reputation certainly can't hurt.

What does hurt are comparisons. You can't help but find Sheraton's writing ponderous compared to King's flippant, talky style, and certainly not as funny--almost an unnecessary interruption.

The book deals with King's cooking life, in a haphazard sort of way--vignettes about his wife's cooking, his own at-home cooking, the cooking discovered in the South of France, cooking in the Catskills where he began his career, hotel life, the people who contributed recipes to his repertoire, such as Frank Sinatra, and restaurants he has especially enjoyed. Sample: "I recommend Sammy's (Romanian restaurant, New York City) highly, but suggest you make two reservations as I do--one for a table at the restaurant, and a second for a private room at Lenox Hill Hospital. . . ."

The recipes (about 30 in all) are good too. Among them: barbecued spareribs with honey glaze, Frank Sinatra's "new and improved" tomato sauce for spaghetti, French toast a la Catskill's (with pancake batter added) and, of course, salami and eggs.

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