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eG Cook-Off #68: Citrus Fruits


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No evidence of its right to be in this topic but trust me it does belong. This is a small duck breast which was slathered on the flesh side with a combination of marmalade, orange zest, honey and thyme leaves before being vacuum packed and sous vided. The citrus came through very nicely.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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No evidence of its right to be in this topic but trust me it does belong. This is a small duck breast which was slathered on the flesh side with a combination of marmalade, orange zest, honey and thyme leaves before being vacuum packed and sous vided. The citrus came through very nicely.

You know the moment I saw your dish, I thought how moist and juicy that looks.  That was before I read that you used sous vide.  Brilliant.

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Thinking about a garnish for a spiced orange cake, what herbs do you think would work well with citrus?  I once had a fabulous strawberry parfait at Guy Savoy in Las Vegas.  It was garnished with tiny fraises des bois, (wild strawberries), strawberry gelee and tiny basil flowers.  The anise flavor and aroma of those little basil flowers worked perfectly against the sweet yet tart berries.  Do you think basil would work with citrus?

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I look at the beautiful desserts and gorgeously-done dinners, and then I look at my photos.  Some of you may think this is going from the sublime to the ridiculous:

 

Citrus jello closeup.jpg

 

Citrus and fruit-salad gelatin!  :laugh: 

 

Ingredients: 1 box (4 envelopes) of Knox gelatin, 1-1/2 c Minneola tangelo juice to be brought to the boil; 1/2 c Navel orange juice to be kept cool; fruit salad of raspberries, strawberries, Navel orange slices, Mandarin orange slices, grapes, pomegranate seeds and one lonely persimmon.

 

Bring the tangelo juice to the boil, and allow it to cool slightly. Sprinkle the gelatin over the orange juice and allow it to bloom for 2 minutes. Pour the tangelo juice into the gelatin/orange juice mixture and stir until the gelatin dissolves, add the fruit salad, mix, and pour into a mold to set.  In this case the mold was a simple 6-cup Gladware plastic container.  I put plastic wrap on the surface to keep the fruit submerged until the gelatin set.

 

Citrus jello in mold.jpg

 

This is a very flexible treatment, and a good way to keep delicate fruits like raspberries longer than they would normally keep in the refrigerator.  The only items that can't go into the fruit salad are fruits that interfere with the gelling process: raw pineapple, for instance.  As for the juice: any juice can be used, but I get the best results if I minimize heat to the orange juice.  Navel orange juice has an enzyme that turns it bitter fairly quickly if allowed to sit out, and I've had it turn bitter with heating.  Harold McGee says that the enzyme is deactivated with heat, but I haven't found the temperature.  (This is, incidentally, a reason that most orange juice comes from Valencia oranges, which do not contain the enzyme.)  The juice can be thinned with water, or not. 

 

It could, of course, be dolled up with a prettier mold, a precise arrangement of the fruit, perhaps even a garnish.  Right now, I'm taking the low road.

 

Citrus jello plated 1.jpg

 

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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This morning I start crafting the elements of my next citrus dessert starting with a spiced orange cake from Tom Kerridge of "Tom Kerridge's Proper Pub Food" on the BBC.  The cake is the only element I'm grafting off a Chef, I'll accompany it with my own ideas, including a tangerine coulis, blood orange sorbet, toasted pistachios and basil leaves.  The idea is to evoke a rash of different citrus flavors, crunch and herbal nuttiness from the pistachios and the fresh fragrance and anise notes of basil.  At least I hope so.

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What would the world be without a true Caesar salad?  Without lemon? Citrus often plays the supporting role in a dish, but without it, the affair wouldn't be so lively.

 

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Garlic olive oil-

2 cups extra virgin olive oil, (I prefer the spiciness of Greek olive oil)

10 cloves garlic, minced

 

Let the garlic steep in the olive oil at least two hours before using.

 

Croutons-

Sourdough bread

Melted butter

Garlic olive oil

 

Tear the bread into small pieces.  Dry the bread cubes in a 350 oven about 15 minutes.  Remove the bread cubes from the oven and place in a bowl.  Toss with melted butter and some of the garlic olive oil.  Season with fresh ground black pepper.  Toast again in the oven until golden, about 15 minutes.

 

Dressing-

1 1/2 cups garlic olive oil

3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 2oz. can anchovies, drained, chopped

2 tsp. dry mustard

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. salt

1 egg, coddled, (simmered in hot water for about 2 minutes)

1 tbsp. capers, chopped

Lots of fresh ground black pepper

 

Salad-

Butter lettuce, torn

Romaine hearts, torn

Parmesano-Reggiano, shredded and some shaved

 

Place some of the croutons and lettuce in a bowl.  Drizzle with a good amount of the dressing.  Shred in some of the cheese.  Plate the salad and then shave with more cheese using a vegetable peeler.  Drizzle a bit more dressing over the croutons. Season with more fresh ground black pepper.

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That's one of my favorite salads. Thanks, David.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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dcarch, what sort of citrus did you use as garnish?  They don't look like kumquats but they seem to be about the same size...unless those wings are from condor-sized chickens.   :huh:

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Once again you only have my word for it but these are lemon snaps with the zest of two lemons and some lemon juice. Also posted on the meeting friendly topic.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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This was amazingly good no credit to me! It is a Claire Robinson recipe from food TV. I believe her program is called the Five Ingredient Fix. I have never seen her program but stumbled on this recipe by googling "romaine citrus salad" hoping for some inspiration after a long tiring day.

I had no lemon-flavoured olive oil but I had olive oil and lemons. No navel orange but a nice blood orange and no Shropshire cheese but I had a lovely hunk of Cashel blue.

I split the romaine, brushed on some olive oil followed by a squeeze of a lemon and some salt and pepper and placed it in a very hot grill pan. I supremed the orange, crumbled the cheese, sliced the shallot, made a bit of dressing from the orange juice and more oil and voila - dinner.

  • Like 5

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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In addition to being quick, that looks like a good hot-weather meal, Anna.  Not that 'hot weather' applies in your area at the moment, but it'll come in handy later. 

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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My second citrus dessert was pretty successful, but I think with a few tweaks it will be even better next time.  The focus of the dish is a recipe for "Spiced Orange Cake" by Tom Kerridge of "Tom Kerridge's Proper Pub Food" on the BBC.  The unique part of the recipe is that you stew whole oranges for 1 1/2 hours and then put the entire orange, peel and all, into a food processor to make a thick orange mash if you will. Looks basically like what comes out the back end of your juicer and is best suited for the compost pile, but that orange mash produces and intensely flavored cake.  The other unique part of the recipe is the use of finely ground almonds rather than flour.  It makes for a dense cake that isn't my favorite cake texture but I'll forsake texture for the flavor combination of orange and almond.

 

Cake-

4 whole oranges

10 1/2 oz. finely ground almonds

10 1/2 oz. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. ground cloves (my addition)

1/4 tsp. nutmeg (my addition)

7 eggs

 

For the cake, put the unpeeled oranges in a pan with a lid. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 1½-2 hours, or until the skins are soft and the insides broken down.

 

Drain and, when cool enough to handle, cut each orange in half and remove the seeds. Chop everything finely — skins, pith, fruit — in the food processor.

 

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3 and grease and line a 24cm/9½in loaf tin or a 20cm/8in cake tin. (I was going to use small cake molds, but used a 9" square pan, then used a round cutter to cut individual cake rounds for each portion).

 

Weigh the orange pulp and keep 450g/1lb (discard the rest). Place back in food processor with all the dry ingredients and add the eggs one at a time until you have a smooth batter.

 

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour -1 hour 20 minutes, or until the sides start to come away from the tin. Check the cake after 40 minutes and cover with aluminium foil to stop the top burning.

 

Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. When the cake is cold, remove it from the tin.

 

Notes: The finished cake was dense and didn't have the height I wanted, so I cut two rounds, placing one on top of the other to give the dish the lift I was looking for.  I'm thinking a bit of cake flour would have given the cake the height I was looking for.

 

Blood Orange Sorbet-

1/4 cup water

1 cup sugar

2 cups fresh blood orange juice

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

 

Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  When the sugar is dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the blood orange and lemon juices.  Pour the mixture into a container, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

 

Using an ice cream maker, process the blood orange juice mixture for about 30 minutes or until it begins to freeze.  Put the sorbet mixture in the freezer to fully freeze and firm up.  Take the sorbet out of the freezer about 30 minutes before service to soften.

 

Notes: The sorbet was too sweet for my tastes and I would cut the sugar to 1/2 cup in the future.

 

Tangerine Coulis-

6 tangerines, peeled

1/4 cup fresh tangerine juice

3 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 bay leaf (my addition)

1/2" piece vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped into mixture (my addition)

 

Combine the tangerines, juices and sugar in a blender and puree.  Add additional tangerine juice to dilute the mixture.  Strain into a saucepan and add the bay leaf and vanilla bean and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the mixture for about 5 minutes.  Strain again, into a container, then cover and refrigerate overnight.  Stir before serving.

 

Notes: The coulis was way too bitter.  I'll add more sugar next time.  I was looking to combine the aroma of bay and citrus, but I think the bay leaf added to the bitterness of the coulis.  Next time I'll eliminate the bay leaf but increase the vanilla element.  Finally, the sauce was too thin, so I added a bit of cornstarch mixed with water while the coulis was simmering.  Not much, only about 1 tsp. of cornstarch just to thicken and add a sheen to the coulis.

 

The garnishes included roasted, salted pistachios for crunchy texture and nutty/woodsy notes. The other garhish was little buds of fresh marjoram, an oft-forgotten herb with a hint of anise and a wonderful perfume.  In fact, the best part of the dish was the scoop of blood orange sorbet with little buds of fresh marjoram. 

 

Spiced Orange Cake, Blood Orange Sorbet, Tangerine Coulis, Pistachios, Marjoram-

IMG_0482.JPG

 

 

 

 

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dcarch, what sort of citrus did you use as garnish?  They don't look like kumquats but they seem to be about the same size...unless those wings are from condor-sized chickens.   :huh:

 

Those are from my calamondin tree.

 

dcarch

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This was amazingly good no credit to me! It is a Claire Robinson recipe from food TV. I believe her program is called the Five Ingredient Fix. I have never seen her program but stumbled on this recipe by googling "romaine citrus salad" hoping for some inspiration after a long tiring day.

I had no lemon-flavoured olive oil but I had olive oil and lemons. No navel orange but a nice blood orange and no Shropshire cheese but I had a lovely hunk of Cashel blue.

I split the romaine, brushed on some olive oil followed by a squeeze of a lemon and some salt and pepper and placed it in a very hot grill pan. I supremed the orange, crumbled the cheese, sliced the shallot, made a bit of dressing from the orange juice and more oil and voila - dinner.

Very nice.  That's a refreshing salad for this time of year, and, in fact, will be on my dinner table this week.  I like the combination of orange and bleu cheese.

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My second citrus dessert was pretty successful, but I think with a few tweaks it will be even better next time.  The focus of the dish is a recipe for "Spiced Orange Cake" by Tom Kerridge of "Tom Kerridge's Proper Pub Food" on the BBC.  The unique part of the recipe is that you stew whole oranges for 1 1/2 hours and then put the entire orange, peel and all, into a food processor to make a thick orange mash if you will. Looks basically like what comes out the back end of your juicer and is best suited for the compost pile, but that orange mash produces and intensely flavored cake.  The other unique part of the recipe is the use of finely ground almonds rather than flour.  It makes for a dense cake that isn't my favorite cake texture but I'll forsake texture for the flavor combination of orange and almond.

 

Cake-

4 whole oranges

10 1/2 oz. finely ground almonds

10 1/2 oz. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. ground cloves (my addition)

1/4 tsp. nutmeg (my addition)

7 eggs

 

For the cake, put the unpeeled oranges in a pan with a lid. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 1½-2 hours, or until the skins are soft and the insides broken down.

 

Drain and, when cool enough to handle, cut each orange in half and remove the seeds. Chop everything finely — skins, pith, fruit — in the food processor.

 

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3 and grease and line a 24cm/9½in loaf tin or a 20cm/8in cake tin. (I was going to use small cake molds, but used a 9" square pan, then used a round cutter to cut individual cake rounds for each portion).

 

Weigh the orange pulp and keep 450g/1lb (discard the rest). Place back in food processor with all the dry ingredients and add the eggs one at a time until you have a smooth batter.

 

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour -1 hour 20 minutes, or until the sides start to come away from the tin. Check the cake after 40 minutes and cover with aluminium foil to stop the top burning.

 

Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. When the cake is cold, remove it from the tin.

 

Notes: The finished cake was dense and didn't have the height I wanted, so I cut two rounds, placing one on top of the other to give the dish the lift I was looking for.  I'm thinking a bit of cake flour would have given the cake the height I was looking for.

 

Blood Orange Sorbet-

1/4 cup water

1 cup sugar

2 cups fresh blood orange juice

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

 

Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  When the sugar is dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the blood orange and lemon juices.  Pour the mixture into a container, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

 

Using an ice cream maker, process the blood orange juice mixture for about 30 minutes or until it begins to freeze.  Put the sorbet mixture in the freezer to fully freeze and firm up.  Take the sorbet out of the freezer about 30 minutes before service to soften.

 

Notes: The sorbet was too sweet for my tastes and I would cut the sugar to 1/2 cup in the future.

 

Tangerine Coulis-

6 tangerines, peeled

1/4 cup fresh tangerine juice

3 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 bay leaf (my addition)

1/2" piece vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped into mixture (my addition)

 

Combine the tangerines, juices and sugar in a blender and puree.  Add additional tangerine juice to dilute the mixture.  Strain into a saucepan and add the bay leaf and vanilla bean and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the mixture for about 5 minutes.  Strain again, into a container, then cover and refrigerate overnight.  Stir before serving.

 

Notes: The coulis was way too bitter.  I'll add more sugar next time.  I was looking to combine the aroma of bay and citrus, but I think the bay leaf added to the bitterness of the coulis.  Next time I'll eliminate the bay leaf but increase the vanilla element.  Finally, the sauce was too thin, so I added a bit of cornstarch mixed with water while the coulis was simmering.  Not much, only about 1 tsp. of cornstarch just to thicken and add a sheen to the coulis.

 

The garnishes included roasted, salted pistachios for crunchy texture and nutty/woodsy notes. The other garhish was little buds of fresh marjoram, an oft-forgotten herb with a hint of anise and a wonderful perfume.  In fact, the best part of the dish was the scoop of blood orange sorbet with little buds of fresh marjoram. 

 

Spiced Orange Cake, Blood Orange Sorbet, Tangerine Coulis, Pistachios, Marjoram-

attachicon.gifIMG_0482.JPG

 

 

What happens, I wonder, if you don't cook the oranges before processing?

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You know, I'm not sure because I haven't done a comparison.  My sense is that if you processed raw oranges, the peel and pith would be terribly bitter.  I think the cooking tempers the bitterness.  I know when I made the orange chips I was skeptical of the batch with the peel and pith, but then it was cooked in a syrup before the baking/drying process and the result was an intense orange flavored chip but the peel wasn't overly bitter.

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I should have gotten photos of the packages of chocolate I found.  And let me start by saying I'm obvious a chocolate novice.  One of the packages said "Bittersweet" and others said "Dark" or "Milk" and so on.  That's what peaked my interest as to the flavor differences with bittersweet.  I've tasted what I was told was bittersweet chocolate and I thought it would be a good possibility with citrus fruits.  I'm doing a sweet pastry tart shell with a lemon filling then garnished with different candied citrus fruit peels.  I thought a chocolate sauce would work well with it.

This is a while back now, but I believe these are the labels that Trader Joe's uses for their pound plus.  Milk (I have no idea of the percentage), Dark in a brown wrapper is 54%, and Bittersweet in a red wrapper is 72-74.

 

I've used the bittersweet for dipping candied orange peel, and I really liked that.  I also made this chocolate orange cheesecake on epicurious and didn't realize til the cheesecake was baking that there really wasn't much chocolate, so I topped with bittersweet ganache instead of orange glaze.  The bittersweet worked really well there, too.  

 

I'll keep reading to see if you've made your tart!     

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Anyone have thoughts on marrying lamb with citrus?  What about North African spices?  Merguez sausage and citrus?  I'm sort of moving backwards in terms of a dinner--started with desserts and now on with the savory dishes, maybe we'll end up with soup?

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Anyone have thoughts on marrying lamb with citrus?  What about North African spices?  Merguez sausage and citrus?  I'm sort of moving backwards in terms of a dinner--started with desserts and now on with the savory dishes, maybe we'll end up with soup?

Lamb with preserved lemon is certainly not off the charts.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Lamb with standard lemon is also quite good.  One of my favorite marinades for lamb is essentially lemon juice and olive oil, with assorted seasonings added.

 

Lamb and cumin are excellent together.  Cumin and orange are excellent together.  I think lamb, cumin and orange might be a knockout.  Hmm, I have some ground lamb on hand...

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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    • By Chris Amirault
      Welcome to this second anniversary eGullet Recipe Cook-Off! Click here for the Cook-Off index.
      A click on that index shows that, while the Cook-Offs have ventured throughout the globe, but they've never stopped in Africa. One could say we've passed through -- gumbo, for example, is widely acknowledged to have roots in Africa, among other places. So, for the first Cook-Off rooted in African cuisine, we'll be cooking up mafé, otherwise known as peanut or groundnut stew.
      Mafé is a traditional west African dish that can be found in the kitchens of Senegal and Mali. It's often served with a starch of some sort (rice, most often) to soak up the nutty stew juices, or, alternately, the starch is part of the stew itself, resulting in a drier braise. While there are a few mentions of mafé in eG Forums, there are no discussions of actually preparing it that I can find except this brief post by yours truly. There are a few recipes elsewhere, including this stew-like one and this more braise-y one, both of which are from the Food Network.
      Mafé is a forgiving cold-weather dish, and one that, like most stews, benefits from reheating (read: swell as leftovers). I'm convinced that mafé is one of the great one-pot dishes in global cuisine, built on a solid base of sautéed onions, peanut-thickened stock, and hearty meat. Like other classics such as gumbo, cassoulet, and bibimbap, it affords tremendous variation within those guides; it would be hard to find very many vegetables that haven't made an appearance in a mafé pot somewhere, and there are lots of possibilities concerning herbs and spices. (I like to increase the heat quite a bit with cayenne, which I think plays off the silk of the nut oil just perfectly, for example.)
      Finally, it's a pleasant surprise if you've never had a savory peanut dish before, and kids in particular tend to think it is the bee's knees. The kitchen fills with a heady aroma -- browned onion, ground peanuts -- that's hard to describe and resist.
      So: who's up for mafé?
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