What's good: There is much to love about this cookbook with recipes such as "Costa Rican Spicy Picadillo & Plantain Potpie," "Farmer's Market Chicken Potpie" and "Roasted Tomato, Onion & Potato Potpie with Parmesan Crust." Our favorites are the "Empanada Potpie with Cream Cheese Crust" (pictured on site), the "Chilaquiles Potpie" and the "Springtime Vegetable Potpie," though there are certainly others that tickled our fancy. Klivans' instructions are easy to follow, which was a relief since before getting this book I had never made a potpie before. In addition to forty-six individual potpie recipes she also includes three delicious recipes for rolled crusts, as well as sections about equipment, technique and how to store potpies. After the recipes, one of the best things about this book is how easy it is to use. Most recipes are accompanied by tips for variations, make-ahead suggestions and crust options. Colored tabs on the side of the page indicate how many servings the recipe makes and how long it takes from start to finish. I thought this last bit was especially useful because you don't have to read through the entire recipe to find out if it's doable in the amount of time you have. Although a paperback, the book is well-bound and most of the recipes are accompanied by mouth watering photographs. Chapters include "Ten Especially Easy Potpies," "A World of Potpie Classics," "New Takes on Potpies" and "A Garden of Vegetable Potpies for Every Season." It's almost needless to say, but there is something in this book for everyone.
What's bad: This isn't "bad" per-se, but on a few occasions I'd read a recipe and think: "What? That's not a potpie!" The "Chilaquiles Potpie" mentioned above falls into this category, since both my mother and Nana always made chilaquiles the traditional way: in a skillet on the stove top. I couldn't help thinking that just because Klivans moved the ingredients over to a casserole dish, then baked them in the oven, the chilaquiles still weren't "really" a potpie. Also, and this is my being nitpicky, I didn't like how she doesn't lightly fry the tortillas before adding them to the sauce, which to my mind is absolutely essential because it prevents the tortillas from getting mushy. Nevertheless, I gave this recipe a go - frying the tortillas, of course - and the result was delicious. The same can be said for the recipe featured in this entry (see site), which is another example of a Mexican dish being taken out of its original context and remade into something altogether different, yet highly enjoyable.
Conclusion: If you like potpies and want to introduce your taste buds to something other than plain old "Chicken Potpie" definitely check this book out - but fry your tortillas!