Tag Archives: water

Paleo Rogan Josh

I don’t really understand or care about the Paleo diet. But I did really like this Rogan Josh recipe, the first time I had it. So I decided to make it myself. The ingredients are:

  • Beef, 2 pounds
  • Onions, 2 medium, diced
  • Coconut milk, 2 cans
  • Coconut Oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Water, 1 cup

And for the spice blend:

  • Sweet Paprika, 2 tablespoons
  • Cayenne pepper, 1/2 tablespoon
  • Ground coriander, 4 teaspoons
  • Ground cumin, 4 teaspoons
  • Ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons
  • Chili Powder, 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, 2 teaspoons
  • Ground ginger, 3/4 teaspoon
  • Ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon
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The ingredients.

You may want to start by browning the meat in the oil, because that can take a while, depending on the size of your pot. I browned mine in two batches. Be sure to let the meat sear for a good length of time before disturbing it, to ensure it develops a nice, crispy crust.

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Browning…

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Browned.

While the meat is doing its thing, you can assemble the spice blend:

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Spices!

And dice the onions:

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Onions!

Once all the meat is browned, return it to the pan, along with the onions. Cook until the onions themselves have begun to soften and brown a bit.

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Brown some more.

Then add in the spice mix, stir for about 30 seconds to allow the spices to warm in the oil and grease, and then add in the water and coconut milk.

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Soon-to-be deliciousness.

Cover and simmer for about an hour to allow the meat to tenderize and the sauce to reduce, and you’re done.

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And done.

You may find, as I did, that the sauce has reduced a bit more than what you really wanted. If so, ameliorate by adding in a bit more coconut milk.

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Beef Biryani

Oh, woe is me, this was such a bland recipe. The ingredients:

  • Beef, 2.5 pounds, cubed
  • Onions, 4 large
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, chopped
  • Ginger, 2-inch piece, peeled and chopped
  • Jalapeno, 2, chopped
  • Cilantro, 1 bunch
  • Almonds, 8 tablespoons
  • Water, 6 tablespoons
  • Ghee, 2 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil, 6 tablespoons
  • Coriander, 2 teaspoons
  • Cumin, 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric, 1 teaspoon
  • Fenugreek, 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon, 2 good pinches
  • Yogurt, plain, 1.5 cups
  • Basmati rice, 3 cups
  • Chicken stock, 10 cups
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

It took a while to make, too – though I do have a few ideas for how it could be improved.

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The ingredients.

The first step is to blend! Roughly chop two of the onions, and combine them with the cilantro, hot pepper, garlic, ginger, water, and half the almonds.

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Blending can be fun.

Blend to a smooth paste, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

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The aftermath.

Next, heat half the ghee with half the oil and fry the rest of the onion (after you slice it, of course) until it’s golden brown. When it is, transfer to another dish – yes, another one!

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Onions are yummy.

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Browned!

Then fry the remaining almonds briefly until they’re golden, too. Or more golden, at any rate.

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Browning almonds.

Transfer them – yes, you guessed it – to another plate, and then start searing the meat, in batches. Add more oil/ghee if you need to.

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Browning meat.

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The meat, seared.

Once all the meat is browned and moved out of the way – perhaps to another plate – you can put the blended mixture into the pot, and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Then stir in all the additional spices, as well as salt and pepper to taste.

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Re-heating the blended mixture.

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Plus spices.

Next, lower the heat and slowly mix in the yogurt. Then return the meat to the pot, cover it tightly, and simmer over a gentle heat for 45 minutes to tenderize the meat.

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Simmer.

Meanwhile, you can begin working on the other part of the biryani mixture – the rice. You should soak the rice in a bowl of cold water for 15-20 minutes, and begun heating your chicken broth.

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Chicken broth!

Heat to a boil, then add the rice (along with a little salt) and bring it back to a boil. Then cover and cook for 5 minutes.

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With rice!

After that, it’ll look like this: the chicken broth has magically disappeared, and the rice got a lot bigger. I wonder what happened?

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And now, just rice.

Add the rice to your chicken mixture (I used a slow cooker because I didn’t have a dutch oven big enough), and add the onions and almonds as well. Cover securely, and bake on high for about an hour (or 45 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 325).

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Biryani-ing.

Voila! It can be spruced up with more spices – in particular, more salt and cayenne – as well as some fried eggs and possibly some Sriracha.

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The finished product.

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Jungle Catfish Curry

This dish was good, but not exceptional. Be forewarned. The ingredients:

  • Catfish, 1.5 pounds, cut into cubes or 1-inch slices
  • Thai eggplant, 1 cup
  • Jalapeno pepper, sliced, 1/4 cup
  • Thai basil, 1/2 cup
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 10
  • Fish sauce, 1/4 cup
  • Water, 3 cups

And for the paste:

  • Shallots, 8
  • Garlic, 6 cloves
  • Jalapeno peppers, 4-6
  • Canned peppercorns, 1 teaspoon
  • Shrimp paste, 1 teaspoon
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Lesser ginger, 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Lemongrass, 2 tablespoons, chopped
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The ingredients.

Some of the ingredients are a little unusual, or hard to find. The Thai eggplants I found at an asian market.

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Thai eggplants. They’re like American eggplants, but different.

The lesser ginger I couldn’t find fresh, and so I had to order it dried, and online. When you use it, be sure to soak it in water for at least 30 minutes beforehand.

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The lesser ginger.

Finally, I found the canned peppercorns at an asian market, as well. They look like this:

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Canned peppercorns.

Blend together all the ingredients for the paste, until it looks something like this:

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The paste.

Then add the paste to a pan with some oil and fry for about a minute. Then, add in the fish, vegetables, kaffir lime leaves, water, and fish sauce.

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Into the pot it goes.

While they’re cooking, you can prepare some of the remaining ingredients: the jalapeno and thai basil.

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Slicing and washing.

Once everything else is cooked down to your satisfaction, add in the basil and jalapeno, and dinner is served!

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Enjoy.

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Burmese Chicken Curry

I pronounce this recipe: good. The ingredients:

  • Chicken, 3 pounds of breasts or thighs
  • Shallots, 8, thinly sliced
  • Tomatoes, 4, cut into wedges
  • Mushrooms, 8-16 oz, sliced
  • Water, 6 cups
  • Milk, 1 cup
  • Fish sauce, 1/3 cup
  • Butter, 4 tablespoons
  • Sugar, 3 tablespoons
  • Yellow curry powder, 2 tablespoons
  • Red curry paste, 2 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

The first step: cutting up the chicken. You should cut yours exactly like I cut mine. Exactly.

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Exactly.

Next, saute the shallot slices in 3/4 of the butter.

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In the pan.

Cook until they’re golden brown, and then set aside.

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Cooked.

Then add the rest of the butter to the pan, , and stir in the curry paste and the curry poweder. Cook for about two minutes, or until the next resignation from the Trump Administration, whichever comes first.

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More stuff in the pan. Does it never end?

Then add the chicken and cook for five more minutes, on high heat.

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Now the chicken goes in, too.

This may be a good time to prep the other ingredients: your tomato and mushroom slices.

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Mushrooms and tomatoes and bears, oh my!

Next, add in everything else. Wait! With on exception: not the shallots. Discriminate against them for a while.

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Discriminate.

Heat to boiling and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the dish looks exactly like this. Exactly.

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Nearly done.

Then eat over rice and sprinkle the shallots on top.

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This is the part where you eat it.

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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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Fried Mushrooms

These were the star of our ill-fated election-night party, and a bright spot in an otherwise dismal night. The recipe comes courtesy of my mom, and beware – it is time-consuming to make. But also, so so delicious.

The ingredients are:

  • Mushrooms
  • Panko or bread crumbs
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Mrs. Dash seasoning
  • Water
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Canola Oil
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The ingredients.

The first step is to wash and cut up the mushrooms into bite-sized portions. Then, prepare three bowls.

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The bowl line-up.

In the first bowl, have flour (as well as a touch of pepper and salt, but not too much)

In the second bowl, have beaten eggs and water. For every two eggs that you add, add 1 tablespoon of water. As you can see, I used a tall glass instead, as it’s easier to dunk the mushrooms in (I use a fork to do so).

Finally, have flour, Panko or bread crumbs, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and Mrs. Dash in the final bowl. The proportions will vary depending on how you prefer your mushrooms, but the main ingredient should be the Panko.

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A closer look at the final bowl.

Dip each mushroom piece into each bowl consecutively, making sure to coat them well each time. Then, deep fry the mushrooms until they turn brown. As you can see, I used an enameled pot, but whatever device works for you.

When they’re done, place on a plate with paper towals to absorb the excess grease, and sprinkle with salt (if you prefer) to eat with ranch dressing.

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Enjoy!

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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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Salt & Vinegar Potatoes

Not potato chips, but actual potatoes. Thanks thekitchn.com!

Boiling the potatoes in a salt and vinegar bath allows them to soak up all of that briny flavor before you dry them off and crisp them up in the oven. The result is a soft-in-the-center, crispy-on-the-outside potato that’s loaded with flavor.

The ingredients are:

  • Small or fingerling potatoes, about two pounds, cut lengthwise in half
  • Salt
  • A cup of distilled white vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Chives
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The ingredients.

The first step is simple: you cut all those potatoes lengthwise, in half.

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Split asunder.

See? Now you’ve got a nice big pile of them.

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Don’t eat them yet!

Put them all in a pot with the vinegar, and add enough water to the mix to cover the potatoes by about an inch. Then bring to a boil, and leave it alone for 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

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This is where they take on that vinegar flavor.

Next, drain the potatoes, and dry them off with a paper towel, a hair dryer, or a blow torch. Once they’re dry, mix them with enough olive oil to coat them , and lay them all out on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Not the wax paper I’m using here – apparently that can catch fire if you use it in the oven (a lesson I learned, fortunately, without the experience).

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Covered in oil.

Now bake the potatoes for another 25-30 minutes or so. They should come out looking like this:

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Soon to broil.

Ah, but see, you want them crispier than that. That’s what the broiler is for! Put them in the broiler for a few minutes, maybe 5, but keep a good eye on them so they don’t overcook. You may also want to cut up your chives at this point.

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The garnish awaits.

When they look crispy enough for you, bring them out and garnish with the chives, and salt to taste. Then enjoy!

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Delicious.

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Delicious.

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