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Perfectly timed for the current economy, Mattocks's book provides an assortment of approachable, repertoire-expanding recipes for affordable dinners. The author divides the recipes into practical chapters on popular foods: chicken, meat, fish, eggs, vegetarian dishes, a few desserts. Spices and international flavors keeps things interesting, and recipes like ginger chicken with avocado; Mom's Jamaican curry with dumplings, rice, & peas; pecan-crusted tilapia with mango-salsa salad and coconut rice; and ratatouille with couscous are tempting takes on everyday fare. Each recipe is keyed with a price for two or four servings, but unless readers have well-stocked spice cabinets and pantries, some of the estimates are a little too optimistic: for example, it's tough to believe someone could pull off four servings of sunny shrimp curry, made with a pound of shrimp, peas, two tomatoes, chicken broth, fresh ginger, lime juice, shredded coconut and more for less than $7 total. There's also a little too much repetition-the same tip box shows up in multiple recipes a few pages apart, and most of the pull quotes don't deserve double attention. But among the recipes readers will find more than enough variety to inspire the wallet-friendly habit of cooking at home. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.