Weekend Cooking: Cook Book by Matt Preston


I’ve decided to make the Weekend Cooking meme, hosted by Beth Fish Reads  a regular monthly post at Book’d Out. Cooking is something I enjoy and I have been making more of an effort again lately, so I am looking forward to sharing some of my culinary adventures.


Title: Cook Book

Author: Matt Preston

Published: Plum: Pan Macmillan October 2014

My Thoughts:

Matt Preston is a food critic and an editor for Taste Magazine but is best known as the chin stroking, cravat wearing co-host on the popular Australian television series of Master Chef.

The Cook Book is Matt’s second published recipe collection boasting ‘187 recipes that will make you incredibly popular’ and ‘Amazing cheats and food hacks’ with a centerfold to boot. It’s a large format softback with matte pages where the recipe faces an attractive full page colour photo of the dish.

Matt begins with a fairly standard introduction before offering advice on being a good guest, and a long list of rules for hosting the perfect dinner with friends. To be fair his guidance is sensible and useful including tips such as – ‘When you are planning the menu, serve as many things as possible that can be prepped ahead. You want to spend time with your guests, not alone in the kitchen.’ and ‘Don’t forget to put BBQ gas, booze and other drinks, too much ice and good toilet paper on the shopping list.’

Preston states that he has three firm rules when he writes a cookbook
1. The recipes must be simple
2. The ingredients in the vast majority must be available from a local supermarket
3. There can never be a pasta salad in the book.

The recipes are well presented with a short comment to introduce the dish, often offering a tip or two, a bolded list of ingredients and clear prep and cooking instructions. The Cook Book includes recipes for Breakfasts, Soups, Salads and Vegetables, Ubersalads, Snacks, Pasta, Seafood, Chicken and Duck, Meat, Desserts, and Afternoon Tea.

As promised, some recipes are very simple, for example Ice Cream Bread, Idiot Cake and Pizza Dough each have only two ingredients. Preston also builds on some of his basic recipes suggesting ‘4 ways with burgers’, ‘3 ways with flatbread’ ‘3 ways with kale’ and ’30 other things to do with chicken mince’.

Preston takes inspiration from a range of cultures for his presented dishes that include Middle Eastern Rice Pudding, Thai Pumpkin Soup, Spanakopita Filo Triangles, Blackened Lamb Backstraps with Turkish Muhammara and Ice Cream Peanut Butter Sandwiches. He also offers recipes for classic dishes such as Meatloaf, Potato Salad and Quiche Lorraine, with his own twist.

I’ve used his recipes to make Sticky Chicken Drummies and Thai Chicken Sausage Rolls {but I lost both photo’s with the iOS 8 upgrade}. They were, however, delicious and I still have a few recipes bookmarked to try including Chicken Loaf with Onion Jam, Pain Roules, Smoky Corn Macherony and Butternut Snap Tarts.

You can find a selection of recipes from Matt Preston – though not those found in this book, at Master Chef Australia and Taste.com.au

Cook Book is available to purchase from

Pan Macmilan Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Bookworld I via Booko

and all good bookstores.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mystica
    Oct 05, 2014 @ 13:38:09

    Love the sound of Thai chicken sausage rolls. I follow Masterchef thought he series come to Sri Lanka a bit later.



  2. Beth F
    Oct 05, 2014 @ 20:46:59

    I like his philosophy of easy recipes with easy-to-find ingredients. From the recipes you listed it sounds like this book covers a full range of flavors. I’ll see if we can get this book here.



  3. tinabakesbread
    Oct 05, 2014 @ 23:12:57

    I hadn’t heard of this one, but I like the simplicity of the recipes.



  4. Heather
    Oct 06, 2014 @ 01:11:31

    Sounds interesting! I like that he keeps it simple with easy to find ingredients! I wish Master Chef came on here.



  5. Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader
    Oct 06, 2014 @ 02:59:05

    I really like the number 1 rule of simple recipes. Those are the best ones 😀



  6. Sarah's Book Shelves
    Oct 06, 2014 @ 09:22:46

    Haha! This guy had me at “no pasta salad”…I can’t stand most pasta salads! The Thai pumpkin soup sounds interesting and combines 2 of my favorite things (pumpkin and Thai flavors).



  7. Trish
    Oct 09, 2014 @ 04:29:44

    I haven’t heard of this cookbook either and the recipes sound like the perfect amount of comfort and experiment (for my family’s meat and potato tastes). Idiot Cake, huh? Sounds promising. LOL!!



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