Happy Birthday To The Cook’s Digest

A chocolate cake made by my wife

This month marks a year of The Cook’s Digest. It’s been a lot of fun, and an interesting learning experience. In this post I share some of theΒ  important events and aspects of the year.

And also eat some chocolate cake to celebrate. πŸ™‚
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Banana and Blueberry French Toast

Banana and blueberry French toast dusted with icing sugar

It’s said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet in our house it was seldom more than cereal or toast, downed rapidly with a morning coffee before rushing out to work.

In an effort to breakfast less ordinary, I decided to start doing some more interesting recipes. Starting with some tasty banana and blueberry French toast.

Spice up your own breakfast time with this simple recipe.

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Com Ga – Vietnamese Chicken Rice

Com ga Hoi An served with herbs and pickled condiments

Whilst traveling through Vietnam a few years ago, we spent a day in the beautiful city of Hoi An. Famous for silk production and nighttime Lunar celebrations, it is also home to one of the country’s most iconic dishes … chicken rice, or CΖ‘m GΓ  Hα»™i An.

Make this delicious, traditional dish at home with the following simple recipe.

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Simple Pork Curry

Simple and delicious pork curry topped with coriander

Continuing our exploration of Indian food, a recipe for a simple and delicious pork curry. It goes very well with the sweet potato and aubergine curry side dish posted here last week.
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Spring Cleaning The Big Green Egg

Searing rib-eye steaks ... spattering fat and blowing smoke onto the Egg

As with a conventional oven, over time a Big Green Egg gets gunked up with fat, grease and other undesirable detritus. When the ceramics glisten with black, fatty deposits and there’s an aroma of fat as the Egg warms up, it’s time for a clean.

Not with Mr. Muscle though. I restored the Egg by performing a clean burn. The result was an Egg nearly back to the state it was when purchased.
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Sweet Potato and Aubergine Curry

Sweet potato and aubergine curry

A recent restaurant experience demonstrated that true curry is so much more than a clichΓ© of unbearably hot and heavy sauces. Indian food was revealed to be a wonderful, varied and delicious cuisine to experience.

My wife and I decided to explore this at home. To begin with, a simple, healthy and very tasty vegetarian curry.
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Focaccia with Smoked Pancetta and Tomatoes

Focaccia with smoked pancetta and cherry tomatoes

I made some focaccia a while ago. It was pretty good and tasted pleasant with some balsamic vinegar dipping sauce. How to improve on this? Add some bacon! Or in this case, delicious smoked pancetta. And throw a few vine-ripened cherry tomatoes in for good measure.

Impress your friends with stand-out focaccia using this simple recipe.

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Truffle and Parsley Chips

Truffle and parsley chips with a truffle and mayonnaise dip

Bored of having the same chips every time? Try kicking it up a notch … or three … by adding some tasty chopped parsley and truffle oil, along with a cool mayonnaise dip on the side. Truly delicious.
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Simply Zensational Vietnamese Banh Mi

Simply Zensational Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich

What do I enjoy most about cooking? Bread, Vietnamese food, fresh flavours and cooking gadgets … mostly the Big Green Egg. So how could I bring all of those elements together into a single meal, throwing in a good dose of tasty flavour enhancing rub?

Step forward the Simply Zensational Banh Mi roll.
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Homemade Crusty Bread Rolls and Baguettes

Crusty homemade baguette roll with meats, salad and coleslaw

A crusty, tasty roll or baguette can be a delicious alternative as the wrapper of the lunchtime sandwich. And it’s hardly practical to eat a burger between two slices of bread.

Make your own crusty rolls and baguettes at home with this simple recipe.
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Sous Vide Seared Rib-Eye Steak

Sous vide rib-eye steak seared on a Big Green Egg

Steak is a popular starting point for sous vide cooking. It showcases how easy it is to achieve an even level of done whilst retaining both moisture and flavour. Our sous vide rib-eye steaks have been consistently delicious.

Find out how to get evenly cooked steak every time with a sous vide.

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Experiences With Sous Vide Cooking

Preparing to sous vide two ribeye steaks

I enjoy experimenting with kitchen gadgets. For Christmas, I was gifted a “Sous Vide Supreme” to add to the culinary arsenal. After a few sous vide meals, it’s clear this was a perfect present. Meat is moist and evenly cooked throughout. Vegetables taste fresh and vibrant. Every time.

Find out about sous vide cooking and what I’ve been doing with it in this blog post.

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