Thit Heo Nuong Xa – Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork

Traditionally cooked over hot coals as street food on the hectic byways of cities such as Hanoi and Saigon, Vietnamese lemongrass pork (or thit heo nuong xa) is one of the easiest and tastiest classic Vietnamese recipes to replicate in your own home kitchen.  It’s a great way to experience some authentic, flavoursome food of this exotic country.

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Sweet Thai Chili and Turmeric Rice

This side dish was the result of trying something with kale and it backfiring rather spectacularly. I had planned a rice side to go with an aromatic Vietnamese pork dish, thinking that dehydrated kale would make a good rice garnish. I was wrong … really, really wrong.  So instead, I threw in some sweet Thai chili and turmeric … which worked together exceptionally well!

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Huli-Huli Chicken

Another new discovery, this time from Hawaii, Huli-Huli chicken is a delicious alternative to your everyday, classic roast chicken dish. Cooked with a simple spice rub and glazed with a sweet, aromatic sauce, it makes a tasty talking-point for your dinner guests.

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Duck Breast with Plum and Tamarind Sauce

To celebrate a fantastic holiday in the USA (which is also why I didn’t post much in September), I wanted to cook something a bit different to what we’d enjoyed in the States. In a “root around the pantry and find what’s available” moment, along with inspiration from fashion guru Gok Wan, some delicious duck breast with plum and tamarind sauce was served …

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Smokin Yard’s BBQ, Idaho Springs

During our last day of holiday in September, we headed west of Denver in search of ghost towns. The first stop was Nevadaville, which had some interesting if somewhat derelict buildings. From there, the journey took us through the serene mountain landscapes to Idaho Springs, which has some more intact buildings from the bygone age of prospecting.

And it also happens to have one of the best BBQ places I’ve eaten at … Smokin Yard’s BBQ.

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Bánh Xèo – Savoury Vietnamese Crêpes

Simple to make, and with a with a wide variety of fillings, bánh xèo is a quick, easy and incredibly tasty Vietnamese meal to enjoy at any time of day. These savoury Vietnamese  crêpes are perfect for sharing as a family or with friends, where everyone can choose their favourite flavours and fillings. And they make a delicious breakfast to start the day.

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Jucy Lucy Burgers

Stuffed crust pizza is a well-known take on the classic Italian meal. Cheese stuffed burgers however? That was a new one for me.  Known as Jucy Lucy burgers, they are a twist on the classic American comfort food, with cheese sandwiched between two thin burger patties.

Find out how to make your own Jucy Lucy burgers at home with this simple recipe …

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Classic Crispy Mac ‘n’ Cheese

With summer well and truly upon us, it’s time to look at another interesting side dish for al fresco cooking and dining. We’d had delicious mac ‘n’ cheese a few times in the USA, so my wife tried to replicate it at home. She excelled herself (as usual), this classic crispy mac ‘n’ cheese beats any we had on t’other side of pond.

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Food Photography at The Cook’s Digest

A food blog can live or die on the quality of the photographs. A blogger could invent the most creative, heavenly meal on the planet, but an out of focus, badly lit shot won’t entice readers in. So I’ve used some simple tricks, low-cost lighting and free software to improve picture quality.

Below are my top five tips on on how we get our pictures looking as good as the food tastes.

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Huckleberry Glazed Chicken Wings

We bought back the idea for awesome salt ‘n’ vinegar chicken wings from the USA. We also came back with some delicious huckleberry BBQ sauce. Well, heck, let’s try making some more chicken wings with a tasty, tangy sweet fruit glaze! This was outstandingly good, it’s now a tough choice as to which would be our go-to wing recipe.

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Triple Buffalo Pizza

Continuing with our theme of buffalo inspired meals, I made a triple buffalo pizza using strips of buffalo minute steak. Combined with sliced buffalo tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella and topped off with fresh basil leaves (that may have been near a buffalo at some point), this was one seriously tasty and good-looking pizza!

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Top 40 Pizza Food Blog Award

I am thrilled to announce that The Cook’s Digest has been honoured for our contributions towards the pizza food scene, following on from our award a year ago for Vietnamese food blogging. Once again, the good folks at feedspot.com have recognised us as a major contributing to all things pizza!

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