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The Cook's Companion : The Complete Book of Ingredients and Recipes - Stephanie Alexander

The Cook's Companion

The Complete Book of Ingredients and Recipes

By: Stephanie Alexander, Earl Carter (Photographer)

Hardcover

Published: October 2014
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RRP $130.00
$86.75
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The Cook's Companion has established itself as the kitchen 'bible' in over 500,000 homes since it was first published in 1996.

This 2014 revision includes two major new chapters, two expanded chapters, 70 new recipes and a complete revision of the text to reflect changes in the marketplace and new regulations. Stephanie believes that good food is essential to living well: her book is for everyone, every day. She has invaluable information about ingredients, cooking techniques and kitchen equipment, along with inspiration, advice and encouragement and close to 1000 failsafe recipes.

About the Author

For 21 years from 1976, Stephanie Alexander was the force behind Stephanie's restaurant in Hawthorn, a landmark establishment credited with having revolutionised fine dining in Melbourne. From 1997 to 2005 Stephanie, along with several friends, ran the Richmond Hill Café and Larder, a neighbourhood restaurant renowned for its specialist cheese retailing. In her recently published memoir, A Cook's Life, she recounts how her uncompromising dedication to good food has shaped her life and changed the eating habits of a nation.

One of Australia's most highly acclaimed food authors, Stephanie has written fourteen books, including Stephanie's Menus for Food Lovers, Stephanie's Seasons and Stephanie Alexander & Maggie Beer's Tuscan Cookbook (co-author). Her signature publication, The Cook's Companion, has established itself as the kitchen bible in over 400 000 homes. With characteristic determination, Stephanie initiated the Kitchen Garden at Collingwood College in order to allow young children to experience the very things that made her own childhood so rich: the growing, harvesting, cooking and sharing of good food.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
The Cook's Companion
 
4.8

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great recipes (9)
  • Easy to understand (8)
  • Informative (8)
  • Well written (6)
  • Great ideas (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Trying new dishes (6)
  • Learning new techniques (5)
  • Reference (5)
  • Becoming inspired (4)
  • Entertainment ideas (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Avid cook (3), Casual cook (3)

Reviewed by 9 customers

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4.0

Great book

By 

from Adelaide

About Me Avid Cook

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Understand
  • Great Ideas
  • Great Recipes
  • Informative
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Learning New Techniques
    • Reference

    Comments about The Cook's Companion:

    a good reference book and complements recipe books. Must have in the kitchen. HEAPS of information

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    4.0

    Stephanie Alexander Cookbook

    By 

    from Sydney

    About Me Casual Cook

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Understand
    • Great Recipes
    • Informative

    Cons

    • No Photos

    Best Uses

    • Learning New Techniques
    • Reference
    • Trying New Dishes

    Comments about The Cook's Companion:

    Wonderful reference book.

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    5.0

    the cooks companion, everyone's companion!

    By 

    from renmark

    About Me Avid Cook

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Understand
    • Great Ideas
    • Great Recipes
    • Informative
    • Quality Photos
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Entertainment Ideas
      • Learning New Techniques
      • Trying New Dishes

      Comments about The Cook's Companion:

      Giing this book to my son at his request, he loves mine!

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      5.0

      Cook's Companion

      By 

      from Clare Valley, South Australia

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Great Recipes
      • Informative

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about The Cook's Companion:

          After trying to find this book both in Australia and overseas, I was pleased to have it delivered by Booktopia. Amazing! Many thanks.

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          5.0

          So glad I finally bought it

          By 

          from Country Victoria

          About Me Casual Cook

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Understand
          • Great Recipes
          • Informative
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Becoming Inspired
            • Trying New Dishes

            Comments about The Cook's Companion:

            Loved it and so excited when it arrived earlier than expected.

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            5.0

            Brilliant!

            By 

            from Bendigo AU

            About Me Casual Cook

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Understand
            • Great Recipes
            • Quality Photos

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Becoming Inspired
              • Entertainment Ideas
              • Reference
              • Trying New Dishes

              Comments about The Cook's Companion:

              Great reference, every cook should have a copy

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              5.0

              Must have cookbook

              By 

              from Melbourne

              About Me Professional Chef

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Understand
              • Great Recipes
              • Informative
              • Well Written

              Cons

              • No Photos

              Best Uses

              • Becoming Inspired
              • Entertainment Ideas
              • Learning New Techniques
              • Reference
              • Trying New Dishes

              Comments about The Cook's Companion:

              This is a cookbook that should be a staple in every home kitchen.

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              5.0

              The only cookbook you'll ever need.

              By 

              from Canberra

              About Me Avid Cook

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Understand
              • Great Ideas
              • Great Recipes
              • Informative
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Best Gift For Home Leaver

                Comments about The Cook's Companion:

                I buy this book for all my nieces and nephews when they first leave home.

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                5.0

                Great resource cook book

                By 

                from Melbourne

                About Me Professional Chef

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Understand
                • Great Ideas
                • Great Recipes
                • Great resource
                • Informative
                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Becoming Inspired
                  • Entertainment Ideas
                  • Learning New Techniques
                  • Reference
                  • Trying New Dishes

                  Comments about The Cook's Companion:

                  I bought 3 of these, one for each of my adult children that have moved out of home. This is a fantastic first cook book that covers most things you need and want to know to make a great meal.

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                  I learnt to cook at my mother's side, and the images of her that have stayed with me (and that still bring a feeling of loss almost 20 years after her death) include Mum bent in front of the Aga oven scooping baked potatoes into her apron, shaping bread rolls for dinner, forking rough troughs in the mashed potato on top of the shepherd's pie, slipping a slice of butter under the crust of Grandma's bramble cake, or in full beekeeper's outfit setting out to gather the honey from the hive.

                  So much has changed in Australia's culinary world since I first started work on The Cook's Companion more than a decade ago, but it is my mother's influence, mentioned in the Introduction to that edition, that above all else continues to inform my cooking. Her enthusiasm for fresh ingredients, her joy in creating new combinations and her love of providing for family and friends underpin everything I do.

                  I have been overwhelmed by the response to the original edition of this book, especially as many cooks have confided that it has become their 'bible'. But to continue to deserve this confidence I realised the importance of incorporating the changes in farming, horticultural and marketing practice that have taken place over the last 10 years, as well as documenting growing community concerns, in a new edition.

                  I have always encouraged feedback, and there has been a constant stream of letters and emails from family, friends and readers. A variation has been suggested, a tin size adjusted or a temperature revised, and here and there a better version of an old favourite has been included. Facts and statistics have been scrutinised and rechecked and industry authorities have offered opinions and new insights, and the text is even more authoritative as a result. I have found this re-writing, re-testing and tweaking most enjoyable and have rediscovered dishes that have become favourites all over again.

                  When planning the original edition the publishers and I were both conscious of the risk in producing such a voluminous work, and space became a major consideration. Now, encouraged by the support of Australian food lovers, I have been able to include 12 new chapters and to expand 11 others. Now POMEGRANATES and PERSIMMONS, ABALONE and VENISON have their own chapters; VERJUICE is considered along with GRAPES AND VINE LEAVES; and RABBIT has grown to become RABBIT AND HARE. The new entries are there not only because of extra space, but because they reflect a growing curiosity in the marketplace and the steady but sure acceptance of ingredients that were once considered only of marginal interest. I have also added many more personal recipe introductions, so that the recipes are placed in a broader context. There are new entries in the EQUIPMENT section, and one of the most popular features of the book, BASICS, has been considerably enlarged to include even more preparations essential in every cook's repertoire. There are more than 300 new recipes, and I'm pleased to be able to include many favourites – from a flyaway sponge and gingerbread men to corned beef and an improved guide to roasting the Christmas turkey – as well as contemporary dishes such as soft-centred chocolate pudding, Chinese roasted belly pork and new ways with lamb. The total recipe count is now close to 1000! To add to this there are more than 500 new margin ideas, and all of them appear in the expanded index. The recipe style has also been made more consistent throughout the book. And thanks to the generosity of the Australian Women's Weekly Test Kitchen, I have been able to include much-requested conversion tables (now you'll be able to convert your own family's heirloom dishes to metric).

                  I ended the Introduction of the first edition of The Cook's Companion by saying that it would 'all have been worthwhile if this book encourages young people to cook and experienced cooks to enjoy cooking more'. The public's response to that first edition has been the single most important experience of my professional life. It has been extraordinarily confirming to learn that first-time cooks, keen cooks, boys, girls, men and women were all turning to The Cook's Companion for guidance, and that they were enjoying themselves, and eating well.

                  Free recipe from The Cook's Companion, by Stephanie Alexander - Lemon Delicious Pudding, page 556.

                  SERVES 8
                  This is a classic and, in many families, the ultimate pudding - the golden sponge topping hiding a creamy lemon sauce. Lemon delicious belongs to the era when a roast was invariably followed by a hot pudding. Making 2 dishes rather than just 1 would have been seen as a sensible way of utilising the heat from the oven.

                  2 lemons
                  60 g butter
                  1 1/2 cups castor sugar
                  3 eggs, separated
                  3 tablespoons self-raising flour
                  1 1/2 cups milk

                  Preheat oven to 180°C and butter a 1 litre oven proof basin or serving dish. Zest 1 of the lemons and juice both. In a food processor, cream butter with zest and sugar, then add egg yolks. Add flour and milk alternately to make a smooth batter. Scrape mixture from sides of processor bowl and blend in lemon juice. Transfer to a clean basin. Whisk egg whites until creamy and firm and fold gently into batter. Pour batter into prepared basin. Stand basin in a baking dish and pour in hot water to come halfway up sides of basin. Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool a little before serving. I like lemon delicious best with pouring cream.
                  Stephanie Alexander

                  Stephanie Alexander's early food life was influenced first and foremost by her mother, Mary Burchett, a wonderful cook who was interested not just in recipes, but in the culture that inspired the dish. She was eager to experiment. When she left school she went to the University of Melbourne and then studied to become a librarian (with no thoughts of working with food professionally). She left Australia at the age of 21 to see the world. The world for her at that time was France, and she was delighted to discover that France was every bit as thrilling and satisfying as she had dreamed it would be. In the intervening 40 plus years she has returned as often as possible and, whilst acknowledging change, there remained a value and respect accorded to food that she found renewing and reassuring.

                  Visit Stephanie Alexander's Booktopia Author Page


                  ISBN: 9781920989002
                  ISBN-10: 1920989005
                  Audience: General
                  Format: Hardcover
                  Language: English
                  Number Of Pages: 1136
                  Published: October 2014
                  Country of Publication: AU
                  Dimensions (cm): 25.2 x 19.4  x 6.8
                  Weight (kg): 2.48
                  Edition Number: 2