Some of the other reviews/comments I read had me nervous that this was going to be full of unobtainable ingredients and completely unfamiliar terms, but really it's just exactly what you would expect to find in any American cookbook. Kosher salt, cup measurements, cilantro, "minced" garlic and so on. Anybody who has any familiarity with American cooking terms will find nothing to intimidate them in this excellent book. The slight problem you might find is that, where the author lists his stockists for speciality ingredients, most (not all) of them are US-based, so arranging delivery to the UK might be problematic - but this is barely an issue. Most of the recipes are truly accessible to anybody, and hard-to-find ingredients are few and far between. Most of the ones which are listed could easily be replaced with similar products which you've tracked down yourself (e.g. it's probably not necessary to have applewood smoked bacon sent from a specialist California supplier in order for the recipe to be a success), and others have UK suppliers which can be found easily on any search engine.
With that out of the way, what of the food? Clearly this is a completely new style for those accustomed to Thomas Keller's usual meticulous, stylised recipes. In fact the man himself admits in these pages that the restaurant which gives this book its name originally sprang from a desire to own somewhere at which he could serve a Hamburger. It should be noted that even though the food, then, is distinctly more relaxed and homely than his previous works, no sacrifices have been made regarding quality - the aforementioned hamburgers are made mostly with beef sirloin, which should give you some idea of the aim of the book. Another quintessential example of what to expect is the Meatballs with Pappardelle (meatballs which are made with beef sirloin, chuck steak, pork and veal shoulder, stuffed with mozzarella). This is a simple, familiar dish given the full treatment by Keller and his team in order to give the home cook a chance to produce something special but not completely outlandish. It reflects what I suspect to be the essential aim of most of the recipes in the book: to prove that, when given the proper attention, everyday foods can be something spectacular too - and there's no need to simmer anything for 3 days at a constant 73.6 degrees in a bath of Louis XIII and Dom Perignon.
Among a whole host of impressive recipes, I found the sections on Soup and Salads to be exemplary. In many books these recipes can be somewhat of an afterthought, but here they are laid out lovingly over 76 pages which will have you dashing to the shops for the requisite ingredients the day the book arrives if you are anything like me. The Chicken Soup with Dumplings looked too good to delay cooking, and as with the other recipes I have since tried, it more than lived up to expectations. Any effort required to track down ingredients or convert measurements (or simply buying a set of cup measures, which are a good addition to any kitchen) is more than repaid in the results it will yield.
Alongside the food itself, some basic tips on how to become a better cook are given in a fairly conversational style. These are simple and seem mostly designed to encourage the reader to learn on his/her own. Topics covered include how to judge the right amount of oil to use when sautéing (recipes which use specific measurements are met with scorn), how to improve your cooking by only attempting one new technique at a time and so on. Nothing earth shattering, but I'm sure most readers will be able to take something from them, and they are dotted throughout the book in such a manner that they don't interfere with your recipe browsing should you choose to ignore them. Some more practical tips such as how to correctly joint or truss a chicken are well described and accompanied by step-by-step photos which leave no room for doubt.
Gorgeous pictures accompany many (but not all) of the recipes, and the aesthetic of the book in general is of the high standard you would expect from a work of this calibre.
Overall, I strongly recommend Ad Hoc at Home to any keen cook. The recipes are just simple enough to be accessible, but not so simple that the dish is compromised. Unlike other books by chefs like Thomas Keller, you will probably find yourself more often than not thinking "I'll try that tomorrow" rather than "I'll try that next time I have three days to spare." Excellent stuff.