Tag Archives: lemon juice

Egyptian Red Lentil Soup

This recipe didn’t turn out so well for me – it was a bit thick and felt like it stuck to my insides. Maybe it’ll work better with a bit more water? In any case, it was a great opportunity for us to break out the immersion blender. The ingredients:

  • Water, 5 cups
  • Red lentils, 2 cups
  • Onions, chopped, 2 cups
  • Potatoes, chopped, 1 cup
  • Garlic, 8-10 cloves
  • Cilantro, chopped, 1/3 cup
  • Lemon juice, 3 tablespoons
  • Oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin, 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
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The ingredients.

First, bring the water to a boil along with the potatoes, onions, lentils, and garlic. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until everything is tender.

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Boil, and then simmer.

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Once the simmering is complete.

Then warm the oil until it’s hot, but not smoking pot. Then add the spices – the turmeric, cumin, and salt, stirring constantly until it becomes fragrant, or about 2-3 minutes.

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Adding spices to warm oil.

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Mixed.

Then remove from the heat and allow to cool for a minute or two before you add the mixture, along with the cilantro, to the main pot.

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All in the pot.

This is where you get to use the immersion blender.

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A fine machine.

Add the lemon juice, and then you’re done!

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The finished product.

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Sushi!

I love sushi. It’s so delicious, but I rarely have it because (a) I rarely go out to eat, and (b) sushi is often so expensive that I rarely get it, even when I do go out.

So why not make it myself? I’d always wanted to.

So I gave it a try. The ingredients for the rice are:

  • Sushi rice (1 cup)
  • Water (2 cups)
  • Rice wine vinegar (3 Tbsp)
  • Sugar (2 Tbsp)
  • Salt (1/2 tsp)

And for the spicy sauce:

  • Mayonnaise (1 tbsp)
  • Sriracha (1 tsp)
  • Lemon juice (1 tsp)
  • Sesame oil (1/2 tsp)

And for the rest:

  • Nori (dried seaweed)
  • Chopped veggies of your choice (I used carrot, cucumber, and avocado)
  • Meat of your choice (I used smoked salmon and tuna)
  • Accessories of your choosing (I used soy sauce and pickled ginger)
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The ingredients.

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The “accessories.”

Let’s start with the rice. You don’t want to use just any kind of rice. Instead, you’ll find rice that’s grown on the moon especially for use in sushi. Like so:

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The shipping costs are exorbitant.

First, as with any rice, you’ll want to rinse it or wash it.

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This method works.

Then add the rice and the water and bring to a boil. At that point, reduce the heat to low, cover your pot, and cook until the water is absorbed by the rice (as rice is wont to do) – about 15 minutes or so.

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Rice is expansionist.

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Don’t forget to cover your pot.

This is when you’ll want to mix a few ingredients in another pan, over heat. Specifically the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir over medium heat until the white granules are dissolved, then cool in the fridge until your rice is ready.

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Not dissolved.

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Dissolved.

When your rice is done, add the vinegar mixture and stir. But not too much – you don’t want to overmix and turn everything to mush. Your rice may appear wet, but don’t worry – as you stir, you’ll release some of the steam, and the rice will become drier and, as you may have anticipated, sticky.

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It may be good…

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…but now it’s better.

With that out of the way, let’s focus on the spicy sauce next. It’s quite simple to make. Add all the spicy sauce ingredients together, and mix.

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Soon to be…

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…mixed!

Then, mix the sauce with whatever you want to make spicy. For instance smoked salmon, or chunks of tuna.

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Salmon.

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Spicy tuna!

The next step is preparing the rest of your ingredients. In particular, you may benefit from this avocado-slicing tip: slice it first, and then, using a spoon, dig it out of the shell.

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Cut it first.

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Then spoon it out.

If you made my veggie choices, you’ll end up with a set of ingredients like so:

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Yum yum.

Now, the nori is key. If you don’t have an Asian market nearby (or don’t have access to the internet) this may be hard to find. They’re basically seaweed wraps, and delicious all on their own.

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The nori.

If you have a sushi mat, bully for you – you may find the assembly process a lot easier than I did. If not, then you can do what I did – which, in the end, was to use the assistance of a plastic wrap.

In any case, the first step is to tear the sheet of nori in half. Make sure you beak the longer side. If yours doesn’t break easily or cleanly, you may end up doing what I did: simply using scissors.

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Preparing the nori.

Then, with the assistance of a bowl of warm water, you can begin spreading the sticky rice on the nori. Why the water? You’ll see. It’s not called sticky rice for nothin’.

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Spreading the rice.

Now, to be fair, there are different ways of spreading the rice. I put mine on the outside of the roll; in some ways that’s harder. I spread it on the rougher side of the nori, leaving the smoother surface for the ingredients inside. Here, you can see the spicy tuna roll (with carrot, cucumber, and tuna) and the salmon roll (with salmon, avocado, and carrot). But one of the nice things about doing it yourself is that you can add in whatever you like.

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The tuna roll.

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The salmon roll.

Then, simply slice – first in half, and then in either three or four pieces for each half, depending on your preference – and enjoy.

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So much sushi!

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Crab Fried Rice

Oh my goodness, this was good. The ingredients:

  • Crab meat, 1-2 cups
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • Maggi seasoning, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 3/8 cup
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • 1 diced scallion
  • 1-2 sliced tomatoes
  • 1 sliced cucumber, peeled
  • 5 thai chilies, diced (this is hot. You may prefer fewer)
  • cilantro leaves to taste
  • lemon juice to taste
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The ingredients.

Your first step really should be to start the rice, since it can take a while. I use a rice cooker, but you do you.

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I love my rice cooker.

You may also want to prepare a few other ingredients.

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The eggs.

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The crab. You may want to sort through this just to make sure there’s no shell in it.

I used a wok, because its size was so well-suited to the volume of the dish, but you don’t have to. In any case, heat some oil in the wok and stir-fry the crab, garlic, and eggs together until the eggs have been cooked.

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Apply heat.

Next, add a few other things: the cooked rice, the Maggi seasoning, the fish sauce, and the sugar. Mix it all together and cook until everything is hot.

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Add the rice.

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And then a few other things.

Next, add the lemon juice (to taste) and the thai chili peppers (to taste).

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Thai chilies can be hot.

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But tasty, though.

The rest of the ingredients don’t need to cook thoroughly – in fact having them relatively uncooked (even cold) can be kind of nice. Especially if you added a lot of chili heat, as I did.

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Scallions are sometimes referred to as green onions.

So go ahead and add the scallions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cilantro.

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Adding things, adding things.

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Adding things, adding things.

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I want to make this again now.

Then mix it together, and enjoy!

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Aljotta (Maltese Fish Stew)

I love this recipe. I’ve made it at least a dozen times over the years, and if it weren’t so expensive to make, I’d make it more often. Why is it expensive? The ingredients are:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion (large, peeled and thinly sliced)
  • Garlic (6 cloves, peeled & minced)
  • Diced tomatoes (1 large can)
  • Fish stock
  • Basil leaves (6 springs, shredded)
  • Mint leaves (6 springs, shredded)
  • Marjoram leaves (6 springs, shredded)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Rice (2 cups, cooked)
  • Fish (1-2 lbs)
  • Lemon juice (to taste)

Neither fish (something like cod, haddock, or tilapia works well here) nor fish stock are cheap. I’ve found that seafood stock is inferior to actual fish stock (if you can find it) and in either case, it’s hard to buy enough to avoid having to supplement the stew with some amount of water. But if money is no issue for you, just use fish stock.

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The ingredients.

The place to start is with a simple, empty pot. Then add the oil.

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Heating the oil.

Add onions and garlic and fry in the oil until soft.

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Cooking down the onions and garlic.

Stir in the diced tomatoes, and then the fish stock (if need be, you can supplement with fish bouillon, but I never have).

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Add the tomatoes…

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…and then the fish stock.

Next, tear basil and mint leaves into pieces, then add to saucepan with marjoram leaves.

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Green stuff!

The next ingredient is the fish, cut however you like (I do cubes).

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Fish!

Let that cook for a few minutes, then add the cooked rice. It’ll expand even further in the stew, so (depending on how much broth you like) you may want to add more water in.

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Rice!

Finally, season the stew with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. I usually use at least a tablespoon of each, and often more. But they’re all to taste, so you’ll need to decide for yourself : -)

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The finished product – enjoy!

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Chicken Moambe

Versions of this dish are prevalent in central Africa; it’s considered the national dish of the Congo. The first time I made it, I more or less followed this recipe; the feedback I got was that I should add more tomatoes. Accordingly, the ingredients were as follows:

  • Chicken breasts (two)
  • Lemon juice (6 tbsp)
  • Paprika (1 tsp)
  • Salt (2 tsp)
  • Cayenne Pepper (2 tsp)
  • Coconut oil (2 tbsp)
  • Onion (2 large, chopped)
  • Garlic (6 cloves, minced)
  • Ginger (1-inch piece, minced)
  • Diced Tomatoes (4 14-oz cans)
  • Peanut butter (1 cup)
  • Collard greens (1/2 bunch, shredded)

The original recipe calls for palm oil instead of coconut, so if you can find it (unlike me) you may want to use that instead.

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The ingredients.

First, combine the salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice, and marinate the chicken for 30 minutes.

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The spices.

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The marinade.

It’s not really enough marinade to immerse the chicken, so I just made sure the breasts were coated, and let them set. I also cut the breasts in half, making each one half as thick as it was before. But you do you. You may also want to shred the collard greens, and remove the thick stems.

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Collard green pieces.

Next, melt the oil and start frying the onions – cook until browned, and then add the garlic and cook for another minute before adding the chicken and browning it as well (it’s a big browning party!)

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Adding the oil

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Adding the onions

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Browning the onions

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Browning the chicken.

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Browning the chicken.

Once the chicken is browned a bit, add the tomatoes, the peanut butter, and the collard greens. Then cover and simmer for an hour.

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Adding the tomatoes.

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Adding the collard greens.

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Adding the peanut butter.

…And voila! I think the mixture of tomatoes and peanut butter is very tasty. Enjoy!

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Yum.

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Gambas al Ajillo

Gambas al Ajillo (garlic shrimp) is a famous Spanish tapas recipe that is mesmerizingly delicious. These are the ingredients:

  • About a pound of frozen shrimp (roughly 25), heads and tails off, medium or large
  • 10 large cloves of garlic
  • Half a cup of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Dry sherry, either a quarter cup or a third of a cup
  • Lemon juice
  • Black pepper
  • Chopped parsley for garnish
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The ingredients

The first step is to finely chop the garlic, and add it to the olive oil.

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Add that garlic!

Then let the shrimp marinate for a while. The longer they marinate, the more garlicky they’ll be, but 30 minutes is fine. This is also when you add the salt and the baking soda. The baking soda helps keep the shrimp crunchy, and together, the salt and baking soda help the shrimp retain their juiciness.

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Marinate the shrimp.

Next, remove the shrimp and dump everything else in the pan. Cook the garlic for about five minutes on medium-high heat to bring out more of the flavor.

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Cook the mixture (minus the shrimp).

Next, add the red pepper flakes, and cook for another minute or so.

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Add the red pepper.

Add in almost everything else – the shrimp; the sherry; the pepper (to taste); the lemon juice (again, to taste). Don’t overcook the shrimp! About 4 minutes on the medium-high heat should be good enough.

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Add everything else, except the parsley.

That’s plenty of time to chop the parsley for the garnish.

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Chopped parsley!

Then add the parsley and you’re done. The shrimp are delicious, but the oil is too – it’s incredibly flavorful, and perfect for mopping up with a baguette.

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Delicious.

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Carnitas

This recipe takes a while to cook, but its flavors are well worth it. Here’s the list of ingredients:

  • 3-4 pounds of pork shoulder
  • 2 rounded tablespoons of ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 cups of some mixture of lemon and lime juice.
  • Water
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The ingredients.

The first step is cutting up your pork shoulder into chunks. They don’t have to be perfect cubes, but I cut mine with sides of about two inches. Make sure you remove and discard any bone.

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The meat. Don’t remove the fat! It’ll be delicious.

Next, combine the spices in a bowl – the cumin, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Mix them all together.

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Mixing the spices.

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Mixing the spices.

Next, put all the meat and the spices into a ziplock bag. Shake. The purpose here is to coat the meat in the spices.

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Shake, shake, shake.

Next, put the coated pieces of pork in a pot. Enameled cast iron works well. Add in your lemon and lime juice, and just enough water to coat the meat. Then turn the heat on high and bring the pot, uncovered, to a full boil. Once it’s fully boiling, turn trhe heat down a bit – say to medium – but it should still be boiling away steadily, uncovered. Leave it alone for a while. Check on it periodically – maybe after an hour or so. At about the two-hour mark (give or take, depending on the size of your pot) the fluid should be nearly all boiled away.

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Let it boil.

And the meat itself should easily fall apart. The citric acid will tenderize the meat, and it’ll be imbued with tremendous flavor. Be careful not to burn the meat once the fluid is all boiled away, but you do want it to caramelize.

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Once most of the liquid has boiled away.

Shred if you like. I eat mine over rice. Enjoy!

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Ryan’s Mussel Fettuccine

This recipe of mine has changed over the years, and as you can see from the list of ingredients, there’s still plenty of room for improvisation:

  • ½ cup white wine
  • Garlic
  • Stick of butter
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Fettuccini (box)
  • Mussels (2 lbs)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt?
  • Pepper?
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The ingredients.

First, you may want to soak and de-beard the mussels. Since we’ll be putting the mussels, shell and all, into our meal, you may also want to scrub the shell. I don’t – I think rinsing is fine – but to each his or her own.

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Soaking the mussels. Use cold water and soak them for as long as you like. Soaking incentivizes the mussels to let out their beards, which you can then pluck more easily.

Next, fry the onions and garlic in the butter for a little while. I might use a large onion, or less, or more. Similarly, the amount of garlic you use is up to you. I use at least a few crushed cloves.  Again, how much you want to cook things at this stage is up to you.

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Onions in butter smell delicious.

Next add your white wine and diced tomatoes.

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Adding stuff

And then your lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Again, you have discretion in how much you use. You can always add more red pepper later, if you want it spicier – and in my opinion, this dish is better with some kick. But it’s up to you.

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Adding more stuff.

At some point, you may want to start making your fettuccini. Follow the instructions on the box. I use a whole box, but again, it’s up to you. And I add olive oil and a bit of salt to the water, but you may do things differently.

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Making fettuccini

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Making fettuccini

Add the mussels. Yup, just pour them in there – just the mussels, that is; not the water they were soaking in.

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Adding the mussels.

Cover the pot – let them steam. In the heat, they’ll gradually open, which is how you know they’re cooked. At some point, you may want to add in the noodles, too. Then cover the pan again so the mussels can continue to cook.

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Adding the noodles.

When the mussels are fully open, the dish is done. You should taste test it, and see how much salt and pepper you want to add, and decide whether you want to add more lemon juice or white wine or red pepper flakes or anything else. Then you get to the good part:

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Yum.

Enjoy!

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