TV cook Smith's Frugal Gourmet cookbooks have never been fanatically frugal (this one includes a Chinese dish made with canned abalone, which he says was once inexpensive but now costs about $15.00 a pound)--and who knows what ""gourmet"" means anymore? But he is immensely popular, and understandably so: He doesn't put you through excessively elaborate paces, and it's so easy to be swept along by his enthusiasm for the simple treasures of the world's cuisines that his most conservative viewers might find themselves picking up some tripe for his ""wonderful"" Greek egg-lemon soup or some tree fungus for his ""real"" version of Mu-shu pork. Here, for a sampling, he delights in such very simple treats as chestnuts soaked in ouzo (""totally Greek!"") and grilled Roman bread with garlic. He exults in several Chinese quail and other small-bird dishes, but realizes he can't do them in a show without incurring the outrage of small or sentimental viewers. He blithely admits he doesn't care for fried wonton, but, because they're so popular, gives a recipe for some that are ""much better than those you find in [American/Chinese] restaurants."" And he keeps his audience entertained with his personal-travelogue and culinary-historical patter.