We just got in a Thai cookbook from Chronicle Books: Quick & Easy Thai, 70 Everyday Recipes, by Nancie McDermott. This is an attractive, moderately priced paperback. I couldn't resist a look, checking recipes against the ingredients in my pantry. I ended up making "Catfish fillets fried with turmeric, southern style." The fillets are marinated in a paste that includes garlic, shallots, fish sauce and turmeric, then dredged in flour and fried in a few tablespoonfuls of oil. The result looked terrific, browned turmeric gold. The taste was solidly asian, with a little heat from a generous amount of black pepper. I'll be making this again, maybe with tilapia next time.
My local supermarket doesn't have all of the ingredients required for some of the recipes I really want to make next, like the rice for sticky rice with mangoes, or the rice noodles for paht thai. The paht thai recipe is simplified for everyday use, and looks like it will be great.
The recipes are easy and seem sure-fire, well within the capability of the beginner. The familiar Thai flavors - chilies, cilantro, lime, coconut, and lemongrass - are all well represented, as are the most familiar dishes. And the illustrations are lovely. Highly recommended.