Comments: We had a little trouble wrapping our heads around this book. More often than not, cookbooks are categorized by level of difficulty – it's clear if a book is meant for a novice or a good home cook, etc. This book seems as if it's for the beginner cook, but that is not the case. Even though the title makes it very clear, we had to keep reminding ourselves that this is for people who are limited by their kitchens, not their cooking skills.
The recipes, many of which are fairly ambitious, are divided into appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, one-pot dinners, side dishes, sauces, and desserts. Recipes run the gamut, and can be variously classified as gourmet, fusion, comfort, unusual, and nouvelle, and include Tahitian-Style Corn and Crab Soup, Poblano Slaw, Rum-Infused Caramelized Pork Chops, Goat Cheese Soufflé, Bread Pudding with Bourbon Crème Anglaise, Bloody Mary Relish, Moroccan Lamb Chops, Seafood Risotto, and Mushroom Tamales.
There are also sections on outfitting an undersized kitchen, stocking a pantry, organizing an undersized kitchen, preventing cooking mishaps, "nine gourmet rules," and – the theme of the book – thriving in a crappy little kitchen. There is lots of information about ingredients, techniques, and equipment scattered throughout the book.
There was a printing flaw in our copy of the book, at least, that made it hard to read certain sidebars. It did not affect any critical information. There are also a few "cheffy" issues that have found their way into this chef's cookbook. The peverada sauce, for example, is to be drizzled over fish because a little bit "goes a long way," but the recipe makes a whole quart. Finally, some of the recipe titles are truly bizarre (or perhaps we're not clever enough to get the joke). Snake Charmin' Moroccan Lamb Chops, anyone? Or Lasagna Love Affair to Remember? Or Call the Po-Po on This Polenta? – what does that even mean?
We all know people who have grand kitchens but never use them. This book is for folks on the other side of the divide – who want to cook, who love to cook, who do cook, despite the limitations of their kitchens.