The Cook's Companion: The Complete Book of Ingredients and Recipes for the Australian Kitchen by Stephanie Alexander

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Notes about this book

  • Joannelee on January 28, 2018

    The technique to "velvet" chicken on page 288 is a step I never skip now when cooking stir fry.

  • shonaghd on August 06, 2015

    Book on iphone and ipad, app

  • AliciaWarren on April 10, 2014

    If I only had the choice of one cook book, this would be it. And I'm not even in Australia, I'm in New Zealand!

  • k.a.g on June 07, 2013

    I agree. If you're cooking in Australia, this book should be by your side. Never fails as an engagement/wedding present, either!

  • Eurydice on April 14, 2010

    If an Australian kitchen could have only one book, this would be my vote for it.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Sponge topping

    • Eurydice on September 01, 2010

      A really quick and easy dessert. Ideal with rhubarb.

  • Roasted fillet of beef for a party

    • Eurydice on February 24, 2013

      I did exactly what Stephanie said with the meat, and got the best roasted fillet of beef I've ever made! Next time I'll do exactly as she says with the vegetables as well.

  • Mietta's chocolate cake

    • Eurydice on July 08, 2012

      Rich, delicious chocolate cake with easily spreadable icing which made a popular birthday cake. Mine sank in the middle, maybe because I used a tin of smaller diameter than specified.

  • Lasagne

    • Eurydice on September 01, 2010

      Lasagne seems too fiddlesome to me. Prefer Bolognaise.

  • Poached peaches or nectarines

    • Eurydice on February 24, 2013

      Just the best recipe when nectarines are in season. I prefer the red wine version and vanilla bean rather than lemon. I like to use brown sugar, but less of it than in the recipe as for me, there's plenty enough sweetness in the fruit.

  • Mrs Atkins' marvellous fruit slice

    • Eurydice on May 16, 2014

      Wow thanks Stephanie and Mrs. Atkins, this is simply the yummiest slice recipe, quick and easy and relatively healthy. The recipe said mixed dried fruit, and I used mostly raisins and currants. This will be a regular in our house.

  • Molly cake

    • Eurydice on December 10, 2011

      Very heart-smart

  • Rhubarb and almond crumble tart

    • Eurydice on September 02, 2010

      Really good. If it had been simpler to make I'd have marked it 5 stars.

  • Kathy's tomato relish

    • RosieB on February 15, 2015

      I would not call this a relish. It was more like a tomato sauce. Flavoursome but a bit sweet. If you are expecting something rustic and chunky dont make this. If you want something sauce lime, this is for you.

    • AliciaWarren on December 16, 2013

      For a redder relish use red wine vinegar or add red capsicums.

    • AliciaWarren on December 16, 2013

      I was really pleased with the results of this recipe., a beautiful orange-red colour, and sweet-sour flavour. I left out the cayenne and added some onion and red capsicum. The vinegar was mostly apple cider as the white wine vinegar ran out. I used heaps of fresh ginger rather than ground ginger. Next time I will use red wine vinegar to get a stronger red colour. I didn't skin or seed the tomatoes or pass them through a food mill. I just used a stick blender in the pot.

  • Silverbeet and potato torte

    • katieate on January 01, 2012

      Very tasty and easy to make. I really liked the pastry and will use it to make gozleme next time

  • Carrot salad with Thai seasoning

    • mbremner on August 31, 2021

      Add vietnamese herbs

  • Rice pilaf

    • mbremner on December 28, 2013

      Good served with spicy roast lamb and orange and fennel salad

  • Roast chicken - the all-time favourite

    • aargle on February 10, 2014

      This is the best roast chicken recipe I have tried.

    • Melanie on June 22, 2020

      This is a delicious recipe. Great way of roasting the veg with the chicken when I’m feeling lazy.

    • fibarr on March 05, 2017

      This produces the loveliest juicy roast chicken. Rarely cook chicken any other way.

  • Simple carrot cake

    • Melanie on June 20, 2017

      Very simple, very tasty. Made as muffins and topped with the suggested cream cheese icing. Nice and fluffy. Subbed veg oil for half of the olive oil. Baked at 160 for 25 min, made 12.

  • Simplest beef stew

    • Melanie on June 20, 2017

      Simple - nothing amazing about this stew but it is a nice comforting dish. Served with mashed potato on the side instead of incorporating into the stew.

  • Shortcrust pastry

    • Melanie on March 23, 2016

      Perfect flakey crust. Made in food processor and then quickly brought together on bench. Chilled overnight before rolling, and chilled again overnight before baking (not because the recipe needed it but it just worked best with timing).

  • Basic pizza dough

    • Melanie on March 30, 2014

      Good basic pizza dough recipe.

    • poppiesandpavlovas on April 06, 2015

      Very easy to make, good results. Can make a half batch for just one pizza easily.

  • Bread and butter pudding

    • Melanie on August 21, 2016

      Substituted milk for cream and skipped the orange peel - I'm sure I would have given this a higher rating if I stuck to the original recipe!

  • Egg and bacon pie

    • Melanie on March 23, 2016

      This worked wonderfully. Flakey golden pastry and the filling was cooked perfectly.

  • Simple banana cake

    • Melanie on August 21, 2016

      Worked perfectly - adjusted to 50min cooking time, cooked in a round pan. Lovely banana flavour - used two large bananas. Might try topping next time.

    • ameliark on August 21, 2018

      This is my go-to banana cake recipe. Moist with a lovely rich toffee-like background flavour. Very easy to whip up. I never measure out the banana, just put in two or three. I don’t even mash them! I put them whole into my kitchenaid mixer.

  • Lemon curd

    • Melanie on May 17, 2015

      Deliciously tangy - use this when you want the flavour to be full of lemon. Much brighter in taste than Herme/Greenspan's lemon cream (which I also love).

    • digifish_books on May 17, 2015

      Recipe available at

    • sundaydinners on July 27, 2013

      half the amount of butter than other recipes. Very easy to make and after about 7 mins, the mixture becomes a golden partly translucent colour. Does require standing to stir with a whisk for 10 mins. Very clean taste.

  • Orange caramel syrup

    • Melanie on August 06, 2011

      Made the syrup to coat Claudia Roden's orange almond cake.

  • Orange cake

    • Melanie on August 21, 2016

      Lovely simple orange cake, skipped the grand marnier. Great flavour.

  • Claudia Roden's Middle Eastern orange cake

    • Melanie on August 05, 2011

      Drizzle orange caramel syrup and some finely zested orange over the top. Such a delicious cake! Save time by microwaving the pierced oranges for eight minutes (instead of boiling for two hours).

    • ARechner on September 13, 2020

      Such a fantastic cake that I’ll certainly make again! I accompanied mine with a little cream whipped with ground cardamom. It’s lovely reheated and served warm. Next time I’ll try microwaving the oranges to soften them. Keep a careful watch on the saucepan if you choose to boil - mine boiled dry and burnt the pan.

  • Double chocolate brownies

    • Melanie on June 20, 2017

      Very good brownies! Needed longer to bake but the result was worth the extra wait. Will make again.

    • pants99 on September 14, 2012

      My go to chocolate brownie recipe. It is excellent if you add raspberries - fresh or frozen and thawed a bit. In every oven I have ever used I have needed a longer cooking time than the recipe states.

  • Sticky toffee pudding

    • Melanie on April 03, 2015

      Great dessert for a casual dinner with friends. It was a hit and really only would serve 6 as most people wanted seconds! I prepared a few bowls as mise en place and premade the toffee sauce which meant it was easy to mix and throw into the oven while my partner served the main. Good winter dish, the toffee sauce is quite buttery and possibly could have used a touch of salt (there is no salt used in the dish) - will try next time, there will be a next time! Used a teaspoon of ground ginger in the batter.

    • eeza on July 18, 2014

      Suitable to freeze. Also works as mini muffin sized puddings.

    • ARechner on May 24, 2022

      Yum! Such a hit last night and everyone wanted the recipe. I doubled the recipe but only made 3/4 worth of sauce - it makes a lot! Food processor makes quick work of the dates. Bring butter to room temp before creaming. The sauce rapidly rises when bringing to the boil so use a bigger saucepan than what you initially think. You can cut sugar in the pudding down to 2/3 the amount. I also reduced sugar in the sauce a little bit. Made in 22cm square pans as that's all I had and this was fine. Serve with cream. Great freezer recipe.

  • Rhubarb crumble

    • Melanie on November 05, 2014

      This is a good basic crumble recipe, although as it is in the side bar you would end up needing to flick between about 4 recipes if you are not familiar in the kitchen. It's worth it though@ I used ginger in the crumble topping and served with vanilla ice cream. Note - there is no rosewater in this recipe.

  • Poached quince

    • Melanie on May 17, 2015

      Lovely flavour, I can never get enough of quinces at this time of the year (I think the magic of their changing colour is quite apt for autumn). This is a very simple preparation that can either be eaten simply as poached fruit or used in other recipes. The leftover poaching syrup also makes for great cordial.

    • AliciaWarren on April 10, 2014

      Oven poached quinces - If you have quinces this is a great recipe to commence with. Once you have poached quinces, as well as using them in casseroles and desserts, you can drain the juice and make quince jelly, and pulp the fruit and make quince paste, thus maximising the preserves you get from your quinces.

    • Truebunyip on June 03, 2016

      Be warned that there are two varieties of quinces. If you are using the larger pineapple quinces (almost square in cross-section) they will not change colour however long you cook them for. If you want the deep red colour use the smaller, round Smyrna quinces.

  • Pikelets

    • Melanie on November 05, 2015

      Nice basic pikelet recipe. These freeze well.

  • Scones

    • Melanie on February 14, 2015

      Easy to make - I substituted lemon soured milk for the buttermilk and used a pastry cutter instead of a food processor. Delicious with jam and cream.

  • Spiced beef curry - daging rempah

    • Melanie on April 17, 2016

      Delicious spicy curry -served with rice, steamed green beans and some yoghurt.

  • French toast

    • Melanie on April 14, 2015

      I'm sure most people don't need a recipe for French toast but as someone who has neve made this dish (or even eaten a home made version made by others that they liked), using a recipe was a must, and to great success. Used gifted tsoureki (Greek Easter bread) which worked perfectly. I used milk (not cream) and cinnamon (not sherry). This is a side bar recipe (p198).

  • Nat's gingerbread people (or trees, or stars!)

    • Melanie on June 22, 2020

      We enjoyed these. Double the recipe though!

  • Quince jelly

    • Melanie on May 30, 2015

      Lovely flavour. Mine didn't set as much as it should have, however it is actually quite nice as a looser jelly.

  • Moroccan-inspired chicken

    • melissarina on March 08, 2012

      Cook it in a LARGE stockpot / saucepan. I nearly ran out of space in my largest stockpot. Could reduce the number of vegetables (or maybe the turnips I used were unusually large? not sure, I've never cooked with turnips before) I only used 1 turnip, and substituted 250g of sweet potato for half of the pumpkin, because I love sweet potato - it was delicious!

    • Zoeplankton on April 08, 2014

  • Egg custard

    • k.a.g on June 07, 2013

      My go-to custard recipe. Still beautiful if you have to use all milk (no cream). Thanks Stephanie!

  • Pea and ham soup

  • Lemon cordial

    • AliciaWarren on August 03, 2013

      Also search lemon squash, lemon syrup and lemonade

  • Apricot jam

    • AliciaWarren on December 28, 2013

      I prefer this recipe. It uses equal weights of fruit and sugar, plus lemon juice and a little water. It cooks the fruit before the sugar is added. It includes the option of adding the kernels to the jam to give a slight almond flavour.

    • KarinaFrancis on December 29, 2013

      I didn't have success with this recipe.

  • Beef bourguignon

    • AliciaWarren on May 04, 2014

      An alternative to orange zest that worked well for me was preserved lemons.

  • Vietnamese chicken and mint salad

    • will.foster on December 27, 2012

      marinated chicken in shaoxing, honey, soy and sesame oil for 30 mins before wok frying, could also use some cashews or peanuts for a bit of crunch

    • Alicia.Brown on July 25, 2013

      Great tip re. marinating the chicken and adding nuts - its a really tasty and easy dish.

  • Coriander peanut pesto

    • kbeard on December 23, 2012

      This is amazingly good & fresh tasting! Possibly my favourite recipe in this book. I find it loses flavour quickly in the fridge, best just to make it when you need it.

  • Pork rillettes

    • KarinaFrancis on October 30, 2013

      Rich and delicious. The smell of pork and thyme throughout the house while this is cooking is mouthwatering. Great do-ahead dinner party dish.

  • Best ever cheesecake

    • duomono on January 04, 2014

      Top with fresh berries - delicious!

  • Tony's crunchy fruit and nut granola

    • NannaLinda on December 17, 2020

      In the index as Crunchy fruit and nut Granola. On page 647.

  • Grilled coriander pepper chicken

    • JLDuck on November 25, 2020

      Short marinating time and very easy. Taste pretty good as well.

  • Potato salad with bacon and sour cream

    • JLDuck on December 05, 2020

      Simple and tasty

  • Garlic prawns

    • JLDuck on March 15, 2021

      Absolutely delicious. Some pre planning required for the garlic and oil. The addition of lemon juice raises this dish to exceptional.

  • Roasted rosemary potatoes

    • JLDuck on August 17, 2021

      The taste is great. May need to vary the amount of oil and timing according to your oven and what potatoes are used.

  • Peaches and cream tart

    • Daniela164 on September 19, 2021

      Nice pastry, perhaps include some sugar next time. See recipe on the same page. Putting the pie under the grill didn't really caramelise the sugar, but pie was still good

  • Apple muffins

    • ARechner on October 04, 2020

      - Purée the apple - Halve the sugar - Can swap for olive oil - Can swap for chia egg - Can swap for almond milk - Can swap for wholemeal SR flour +/- walnuts and/or pecans

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  • ISBN 10 1920989013
  • ISBN 13 9781920989019
  • Published Nov 25 2004
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 824
  • Language English
  • Edition 2nd Revised edition
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Penguin Books Ltd
  • Imprint Viking

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