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The Cook's Companion

4.42  ·  Rating Details ·  1,422 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
The Cook's Companion has established itself as the kitchen 'bible' in over 300,000 homes since it was first published in 1996. Stephanie Alexander has added over 300 new recipes as well as 12 new chapters to this thoroughly revised and updated edition. Stephanie believes that good food is essential to living well: her book is for everyone, every day. She has invaluable inf ...more
Hardcover, Second Edition
Published November 30th 2004 by Penguin Australia (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 15, 2012 Shaylene rated it it was amazing
Superb reference book, although certainly not your everyday cookbook!
Can thoroughly recommend the "simple banana cake". A big hit in my kid's lunchboxes!
Emily Reid
Jul 03, 2014 Emily Reid rated it it was amazing
This book is an extensive list of ingredients, and uses for said ingredients. It does also have some recipes for each ingredient listed.
I found it to be pretty awesome because I am interested in food and what I can do with each thing. I am still not convinced to bother with artichokes, but I am not sure any book can convince me that artichokes aren't revolting.
I would recommend it to anyone who loves to pick up new things, but then has no idea how to prepare the food, or what to do with it.
Oct 30, 2011 Terri rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, cooking
Good book to lose yourself in, but despite its size, it does not contain everything you think that it would.
Jack Kirby and the X-man
Want to know how to prepare squid?
Got some Kangaroo in the freezer but not sure what to do with it?
How do you select the best silver beet?
What's the difference between Pacific oysters and Sydney Rock oysters?

Stephanie takes you through each ingredient - provides a background, then explains the varieties, seasonal variations, selection and storage and basic preparation information. A quick reference is provided for what that ingredient goes with. Then a variety of recipes are provided.

I've got th
Jan 03, 2015 Lynne rated it it was amazing
Simply the best cookery book I own. Set up as an encyclopaedia with main ingredients listed alphabetically, it is great for both inspiration (what shall I cook tonight) and necessity (I only have limited ingredients in the house what can I make with them). I love the 'goes with' lists in the columns of each ingredient's chapter. These have undoubtedly made me a better cook and inspired me to experiment within the confines of a no-fail list of things that go together. My kitchen will never be wit ...more
Apr 19, 2011 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
The chocolate chip recipe on page 312 is great. Her risotto is a bit plain, but mostly this is a reference for the basics anyway, not for whole set meals. I like that I can decide I'm making choc chip biscuits and I know there will be a recipe there. I'd be confident that whether I wanted to make a pie, steam fish, make ice cream or whatever, she would have it covered. She's also great for if you've got a lot of something to use up, you can just look up that ingredient and get a ton of uses for ...more
Feb 21, 2008 Trevor rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
Organised by ingredients with wonderful and simple and clear recipes. I even found out the other day how to make orange cordial! Lots of detail too on the varieties and season of ingredients and how to prepare and cook the damn things. Hard to imagine a more essential cook book 'for the Australian kitchen'. Mine has the old orange cover - which is much nicer. Her recipe for the steak sandwich is pretty tasty. And bread, lots on bread.
Nick Healey
Apr 18, 2012 Nick Healey rated it it was amazing
This cookbook is a revelation! It is an encyclopeadia which includes pretty every kind of basic ingreadient, ranging from meats and vegetables to salt and flour. stephanie Alexander is an amazing cook and she writes this book as if she is standing by your side when you are cooking. She is a master at teaching in a very simple way! I love it and I love her as well!!!!
Apr 07, 2010 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
Essential reading for ideas on cooking everything! Includes a chapter on the basics, equipment, recipes for batters, doughs and pastries etc. Following chapters are per ingredient, includes buying, storing and cooking both complicated recipes and the basics.
Oct 28, 2012 Claire rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cook-books
This is my all time go to cook book. I have both editions one in the kitchen and one in the lounge room so I can browse while thinking about food. This is where I start when I come home from the markets with a ridiculous amount of something like zucchini and I need ten ways to cook with it.
Jacinta Sheridan
Jun 16, 2012 Jacinta Sheridan rated it liked it
I am NOT a good cook..... Don't much like the making (do enjoy the eating though). This is like a reference book....... Good but at times a little complex. Could use a star rating of difficulty so useless kitchen people, like me, would know when to not even attempt something!
Sep 25, 2015 Merrian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves
I have always loved cookbooks from when I was a young girl (probably because I was always so bored!!) but this is an education. For anyone who wants to become a good cook or really understand produce and seasonal cooking in Australia - this is the bible. No pictures, but really not necessary.
May 03, 2009 Imogen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
The if-I-had-one-book-on-a-desert-island cookbook. Organised by ingredient, it has great recipes that help you understand how good produce should be cooked, and also give great ideas for using up that veggie that you bought too much of last week...
Katie Q
Jan 15, 2012 Katie Q rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
Fantastic cookbook.

If you need one cookbook in your home then this is it. Good hearty food, good ideas and a brilliant ingredient reference. I have made many yummy meals from this book.

The replacement for the Commonsense Cookery book as far as I am concerned.
Jul 12, 2015 AndiG rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who cooks
Recommended to AndiG by: mother dearest
Shelves: 5-stars
5 stars


Oct 15, 2014 Saskia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookery-and-food
I use this book all the time. It has great basic recipes. The recipes are divided up by ingredient which is good when particular vegetables are in season.
Dec 01, 2012 Luisa added it
loved it
Jul 09, 2013 Katie rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It's a great reference guide!
Nov 01, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Useful but huge!
Nov 02, 2010 Simone rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved
Use it constantly - great resource for any type of cooking
Nov 11, 2013 Cathy rated it really liked it
My go to kitchen book
Aug 25, 2012 Deb rated it it was amazing
My cooking bible!!!
Jan 25, 2011 Robbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If your cookbookshelf has room for only one book, make it this one.

Basics, Ingredient selection & storage, Recipes, Ideas - this book has it all.
George Astudillo
Aug 19, 2011 George Astudillo rated it it was amazing
Essential cook's reference.
May 07, 2011 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
A classic. If there's something I fancy making and I don't how to do it, this is the recipe book I go to first. Organised by ingredient, it is thorough and easy to use.
Dec 15, 2010 Liz rated it liked it
This is a fantastic resource for someone growing a lot of their own fruit and veg. Great, imaginative recipes.
Dec 28, 2011 Wendy rated it really liked it
A great resource from the utterly reliable Stephanie Alexander. I love the hints, tips and suggestions on what to do with produce even more than the recipes themselves.
Katie Witt
Jul 09, 2012 Katie Witt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My most used book. Love it so much. Is my bible. Love it when have an ingredient, particularly from my vegie patch and I can look up the section and have options for cooking. A legend is Stephanie.
Aug 20, 2013 Ian rated it really liked it
Classic go to book, but not the bible many might think
When I have a lot of money I will own this. Alas, I can't afford it at the moment. Certainly in the top ten Australian cookbooks ever for me.
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Food and wine and friendship matter more than almost anything I can think of.

Who am I?

Food and wine and friendship matter more than almost anything I can think of. Together they involve skill and craft and patience, and understanding and appreciation of difference, and the desire to bring happiness to others. Brushing past scented leaves in a garden, looking over a vineyard with the vines glowing
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