Category Archives: What’s Hot?

THE BBQ SALE IS BACK!

Hunting for a new BBQ but not willing to dish out loads of cash? Consider going for a BBQ warehouse sale! Never been to one before? Here’s what you can expect:

  1. BBQ Display Units with Slashed Prices
    If you’ve been eying some current season BBQs in the stores, but are on a tight budget, why not get a display unit? Yes, display units come with some scratches and imperfections, but none of them have ever been used before AND they still retain their original warranty. In fact, most of the time, BBQs start to look old after the first time you use them, so it might just be worth it to trade some scratches for saving a few hundred bucks.
  2. Last Piece and Past Season BBQ Models Going for Low $$$
    Look out for past season models at warehouse sales because honestly, the BBQ industry isn’t like really like fashion where people buy what’s trending Grill functions and designs don’t really stray too far from season to season, so getting an past season model is just as good as a new model featured in the stores right now.
  3. Tons of Grill Accessories to Choose From!
    Besides the BBQ grills, accessories also go on sale, and if you’ve been following BBQ Lovers, you’ll know that there are lots of fun accessories you can get to complement your grilling sessions! From Napoleon to Liberty to Tramontina to Axtschlag, you could pick up some pretty awesome grilling “toys” from this sale!

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    From grilling tools and cleaning products, wood smoking accessories to cutlery, you’ll be able to find it at this awesome BBQ sale!

So what are you waiting for? The sale starts tomorrow and ends on Sunday! Go early for a wider selection of grills, before the best deals get nabbed up! Details below:

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Beer, Can?

The weekend was quite exciting for me as I finally made time to do something I’ve always wanted to try – ROASTING A BEER CAN CHICKEN ($24)!

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I started out by making a marinade with Soy Sauce, Minced Garlic and Melted Butter. Just mix it all together (blend it in a blender is best because the mince garlic can be a bit chunky for the marinade injector)! Once that’s done, I had to set up the beer can chicken roaster.

The Napoleon Beer Can Chicken Roaster comes in 2 parts – the pan on the bottom and the metal legs that holds the chicken up. Insert the ends of the metal legs into the holes of the pan such that the legs are standing up. Then, grab a can of beer (or soda) and empty out half the can. Squeeze this can into the middle of the pan and beneath the metal legs. After which, you can place the butt of the chicken over the standing legs and can. If you like, you can even put half an onion inside the chicken before you do this for some extra flavor.

I used the Napoleon basting brush ($14) to cover all of the chicken (don’t forget to get into all the nooks and crannies) with the marinade. After which, I inserted the marinade injector ($19.90) into a few different meaty areas of the Chicken.

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Leave the chicken to soak up the marinade for a bit and use this time to light up the grill. I put the grill (Napoleon Lex485RSIB) at medium heat on 2 of the burners and I used my Napoleon Heat Resistant Gloves ($75) to place the chicken and roaster between them. It’s such good protection that I wasn’t afraid to get anywhere near the fire!

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I closed the hood and left it there for about 25-30 minutes, opening it up every 7 minutes to check on the chicken and to baste it with the marinade so it keeps moist and tasty. I also used a smoker cup ($45) with beer flavoured wood chips ($20) from Axtschlag to give it a smoky flavor.

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When the chicken was done, I took it off the grill and used the Napoleon Digital Thermometer ($29.90) to make sure (it’s done when the internal temperature is at 165 Degrees Fahrenheit or 75 Degress Celcius). It was so tender and juicy because of the marinade that had been injected into it, and the skin was crispy all over because it was exposed to the flames all around. Overall, it was a very delicious chicken and I would do it again!

To purchase any of these products, check out libertypatio.com or visit Butcher’s Dog (Great World City), Zac Butchery (Chun Tin or Figaro St) or Decofix (Serene Centre).

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5 reasons to LOVE the Rogue

Napoleon’s latest Rogue gas BBQ grill series might just be the most perfect one yet for the Singaporean BBQ lover. The grills (R425, R425SB & R425SIB) have many amazing features, but let me give you my top 5 faves!

 

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From left to right: R425S, R425SB, R425SIB

 

  1. Quality, Quality, Quality!
    These BBQs are made of such quality materials – across the board, all Rogues have a die-cast aluminum firebox. Why does this matter? Die-cast aluminum is much stronger than welded steel, which means that the areas holding up the burners won’t give way easily.

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    Check out the die-cast aluminum fire box!

    The highest-end of all these models is the R425SIB (which is still made in Canada – many BBQ companies have shifted their production to China, including Weber’s Spirit and Genesis line) and is made mostly out of 304 and 430 stainless steel which fares very well in our weather. Even the grills are made of stainless steel (the other 2 have cast iron grills).

    Now let’s talk heat – you’re looking at about 3.5kw per main burner and 2.6kw for sear zone – this is pretty good when you compare it to a Weber Spirit S320, which is 3.1kw per main burner and 2.1kw  for the sear zone – albeit that the sear zone for the Rogue is a 2-in-1 with its side burner.

  2. Size Does Matter
    I know, I know – size is a problem especially when all you have is a balcony to work with. I love that all the Rogue series BBQs come with 2 foldable side tables, which comes in very handy when you want to pack it away to a corner.IMG_5320
  3. Extra on the Side
    While the R425 doesn’t come with the side burner (as some of you won’t use this feature), the R425sb and R425SIB both come with side burners, and what’s even more awesome is the R425SIB comes with an infrared side burner that doubles up as a sear zone – it’s cool because BBQs with this feature don’t usually come with a foldable side table and are almost always large.What’s even more awesome is the R425SIB comes with an infrared side burner that doubles up as a sear zone – it’s cool because BBQs with this feature don’t usually come with a foldable side table and are almost always large.
  4. Gas What?
    We can’t change that the LPG tanks sizes in Singapore are huge, but we can change the size of the cabinets that house the tanks. Here’s looking at a 12.7kg LPG tank INSIDE the cabinet of the Rogue. I know, satisfying isn’t it?
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  5. Absolutely CHAR-ming!
    Lastly, if you miss the taste of charcoal, you can still have it whenever you want. The Rogue comes with the option of the Charcoal Smoker Tray, which converts your Rogue into a charcoal BBQ. It’s so simple, all you do is fill the tray with charcoal, close the hood and light it up through the burners. Wait about 15-20 mins, switch the gas fire off, and you’ll have a charcoal BBQ going – easy peasy!
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You can get the Napoleon Rogue Series from Liberty Patio, prices starting from $1498. Price includes delivery, assembly, gas hose and regulator, rain cover and motorized rotisserie kit.

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RENO TALK: BUILT-IN BBQS

It’s been a while since I did my last post, but life has been pretty hectic around the office, and in general. I’m at the age where literally everyone in my close circle of friends is getting married (I’ve been to 4 weddings in the past couple of months!). There’s also been a lot of buzz from them about getting new homes to move into… which brings me to my latest question – how does one incorporate a BBQ into your new home seamlessly?

I have a lot of customers who request for built-in BBQs, and these are usually people who live in houses. We have these Napoleon and Masport BBQs built into some landed houses:

But just the other day, I went to a customer’s apartment to give a little demo on the Canadian-made Napoleon Prestige BIPRO500, only to be pleasantly surprised. Here’s a picture of what it looked like, and let me explain why I was both surprised and impressed:

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What the owner of the apartment did was to completely demolish the existing indoor kitchen of his home, and move it to his balcony because his balcony area was really windy and spacious, and wholly utilizes the balcony space which many people overlook. It was such a brilliant idea, I wish I had thought of it myself.

So what you’re looking at is an outdoor kitchen area fully equipped with a Napoleon built-in gas grill, electric stove, electric teppanyaki and gas stoves, and of course, sinks. The owner also used a very unique countertop material which I had not seen before in any other project. Most projects use granite, marble, ceramic tiles, or straight-up boring old concrete. But he used a heat-resistant synthetic material which replicates a vintage/rusted out look, which is very unique and trendy.

(Not in the picture is the fridge and extra counter space on the left.)

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The owner of the apartment had enough space to include an extra alfresco seating area in the balcony, and another dining area inside if it gets too warm in the balcony.

Of course, if you do have an outdoor kitchen in your backyard, you can draw inspiration from these other projects that use outdoor electric stoves, BBQs, and ovens (apologies as these were taken on rainy days).

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German brand Ascobloc and Belgian brand Indu Plus supply teppanyakis, grills, cooking hobs and ovens for indoor and outdoor use. This means they can be used in a dry kitchen, or even left outside in the rain or shine (provided the countertops are built according to requirements). Their products are made in their respective countries, ensuring the highest quality of materials and technology.

If you’re thinking about designing a counter with outdoor gas or electrical equipment, Proline offers a free consultation session with your contractor or architect, or if you don’t have either, they usually have a contractor that they work with that can help you design the outdoor kitchen you’ve always wanted.

 

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Bargain Buys: BBQ Warehouse Sale

What better way to celebrate National Day than to chill at home with the fam (and friends too!) and catch the parade!

Liberty Patio X Proline’s bi-annual BBQ warehouse sale is back this weekend – just in time for us to get a grill for the holiday. As usual, the sale will feature past season barbecues, sample barbecues, display units and those with cosmetic defects, as well as bbq accessories. All BBQs are new and never been used. Details on the sale are in the flyer at the bottom of this post.

Here are some examples of what you’ll find at the sale, but be quick, as the popular models will be the first to go:

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Napoleon Triumph T325 Display Unit U.P.$1391 Sale Price: $974 (with cover and rotisserie)

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Napoleon LE3 Display Unit U.P.$2568 Sale Price:$2055 (with cover and rotisserie)

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Masport Lifestyle 3H Display Unit: $1230.50 Sale price: $985 (with cover)

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Liberty Chef S3 Display Unit: U.P. $799 Sale Price: $599.25

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The Meat Club

Last week, I was given some meat samples from The Meat Club. The Meat Club is an online meat supplier that takes orders on a subscription basis.

The subscription to the meat keeps the cost of meat low for consumers like you and me, and helps to prevent wastage because it’s easier for the store to keep track of how much meat is actually needed.

For example, a 250gm grain-fed Aussie ribeye steak will set you back about $23 – $25 on average at other online butcher stores, whereas on The Meat Club, you’re looking at an average of $15 – $16 per 250gm.

What’s more is that because of the way the meat is packaged, you can keep it up to 28 days in the fridge, and it’ll still taste super fresh! The meat is packed by using thermoform cryvac at a tier one processing plant, a process which aims to minimise (if not completely cut out) contaminant exposure on its journey to Singapore. And every step of the logistics supply chain is closely monitored to ensure a little changes  as possible in the temperature and humidity.

So how does the meat fare when it comes to taste? I put them on the grill to find out!

I tested out the Aussie grain-fed strip steak, and the lamb chops. I didn’t want to alter the taste of the meat too much, so I only added salt and a bit of pepper to enhance the flavour.

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Salting the Lamb Chops and Grain-fed strip steak (apologies for exposing your eyes to this heinous green chopping board!)

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Onto the BBQ Grill they go!

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So fresh and so tender! Nomnomnom…

The verdict?
The meat club delivers freshness as promised from their thermoform cryvac packaging, and the taste and quality of the meat hadn’t deteriorated despite the fact that I had left it in the fridge for about 4 days. The lamb chops were particularly delicious, as they were full and fatty. The steak was tender and juicy, even though I had cooked it more towards the medium-well range. All in all, I was very happy with the meat from the Meat Club.

To find out more about the meat club, or to subscribe, check out The Meat Club website.

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Straight Off The Rotisserie

Previously, I discussed grilling picanha (Brazilian beef rump cap) directly on the grill. Over the weekend, I decided to do something a bit more special and use the rotisserie to see how different the meat would turn out.

Here I have half a slab of picanha (they are normally no more than 1.5kg, so this is about 700gms). The pinkish epidermis of the meat can get quite tough, so I suggest removing it before sticking the rotisserie spike in.

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As with all churrasco, get ready some coarse salt. I’m using a coarse salt herb blend here. Roll the meat up and stick the rotisserie spike through. I’m using the rotisserie spikes here because my rotisserie spike is a bit thin, so the meat needs a little help staying in place. Ideally, you don’t want to have to poke more holes in the meat or squeeze it in any way to avoid the juices flowing out.

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Here’s a short video of how I salted the meat while on the rotisserie. I like it really salty, but it’s not for everyone, so just put a light coat of salt if you’re not too sure. You can just do it while it’s rotating. After salting it, close the hood to keep the heat in – we’re doing this at medium to high heat – around 350 degrees celsius. Check on it every now and again to make sure it doesn’t over cook.

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The flames get pretty big as the salt falls from the meat into the fire below while rotating.

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I remove the picanha a few times during the grilling process to slice off the meat on the outside, the way they would do it at a Brazilian BBQ place. What you’ll find is that you can keep having that beef “bark” on the outside every time you put the meat back on the rotisserie to cook, while the inside remains tender and juicy.

You can get a rotisserie for your BBQ from Liberty Patio.

 

 

 

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BURNING PAPER

As I’ve probably mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I love German brand Axtschlag because of it’s wide selection of artisanal smoking wood and quirky packaging. Most brands offer the basic woodchip varieties – Hickory, cherry, apple and the like. But Axtschlag range extends to more unusual flavours like Plum, Wine, Beer, Walnut, Beech – just to name a few. What’s even more interesting are the kinds of wood products they offer like grilling papers, wood chunks, herb boxes and grilling planks.

Here’s a fun little thing I tried over the weekend – Axtschlag Barbecue Grilling Papers.

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What exactly are Grilling Papers? They’re basically thin pieces of wood that you can wrap your food around and smoke.

Here, you can see that I’ve stretched out some chicken wings and wrapped them neatly in the grilling paper. It’s pretty simple to use.

First, you soak the paper in water for about 30 minutes. While waiting, marinate the wings. I used a little salt and honey. Once the grill papers have softened up enough, you can wrap them around the meat and tie it up with the string provided (you will need scissors for this).

Next, place the food on the grill. On a 3 burner BBQ with 6 wings, I turned on 2 burners at medium heat. These are thin so they catch fire very easily – you’ll have to watch them closely and swap them around the less hot areas of the BBQ to prevent them from getting burnt.IMG_9363

Don’t worry too much about the strings burning off, as the wood will stay in place.

The end result will be something like this:

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As with most smoking, you’ll get a very juicy and tender inside and a lovely flavour of wood infused into the meat. These cook pretty fast, so the flavour of the wood isn’t too intense. Overall, I think my favourite smoking method is still using the grilling planks – it’s a lot easier to handle and the size of the meat that you’re smoking doesn’t matter.

Axtschlag grilling papers are available from Liberty Patio at $18 for a pack of 8 sheet. Available in Cherry, Alder and Western Red Cedar.

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HICKORY & CEDAR: A BOLD BLEND

 

I’ve been grilling every single day now – it’s not just the BBQ parties I’ve been throwing – I mean, I’ve been coming home and turning the grill on like it’s instinctive or embedded in my brain to do it. I like to call it the “December Feels” – where you just gotta party like a boss, every day until New Year’s.

Anyway, I know it’s already the 29th, but let’s backtrack a little to Christmas. I had a special request from my dad to smoke an entire chicken on the grill. I’ve never done a whole chicken before, but…

Challenge Accepted!

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I call this dish – The Bold Blend
In one of my earlier posts, I discussed the different types of smoking wood. Hickory is usually used for red meats, and Cedar usually for fish – but I decided to put them together to see what I could get.

Since Hickory is the stronger flavour, I used the Hickory in a smoker cup, and placed it away from the chicken, and placed the chicken between the 2 XL cedar planks, so the smoke from the planks would be more concentrated around the meat.

While smoking, the wood gave off such a strong scent. My cousins who had just walked into the garden commented that it smelled like Canada. I have to agree.

The outcome of this process gives you a distinct smokey flavour on the epidermis of the chicken, while the inside is absolutely tender and juicy. I only smoked this for about 50 minutes, but I reckon if you smoked it a bit longer than that with just a smoker cup, and basted it every hour, you could get a more thorough flavor throughout the chicken.

Here are the Ingredients you’ll need:

  1. 1 whole chicken (cleaned out inside)
  2. Butt Rub (I use Bad Byron’s, but you can find similar seasoning from the Butcher’s Dog. The base ingredients of this rub is onion, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and chipotle)
  3. Coarse Sea Salt

Here are the smoking accessories you’ll need:

  1. 1 cup of Hickory Wood Chips (I used a full Axtschlag Smoker Cup)
  2. 1 Smoker Box (Or smoker cup / smoker tube)
  3. 2 x XL Axtschlag Western Red Cedar Grilling Planks

First things first. Soak the wood chips in water for an hour and place them in the smoker cup. I also soaked the 2 grilling planks for the same amount of time.

I used the latest smoker cup from German brand, Axtschlag. It’s wonderfully solid – 304 stainless steel and is made in Germany. Definitely NOT a buy and throw away kind of item.

After the wood has soaked, prop the chicken in between the 2 grilling planks and start rubbing the chicken all around with coarse sea salt and butt rub. Use enough to cover the whole chicken and leaving some on the grilling planks too.

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Place the smoker cup between the grill and the sear plate, on the far end of the fire box, and just above a burner. Place the grilling planks at first, closer to the middle of the cooking surface. Switch the burners on the side of the smoker cup on, as well as the middle burner (this is based on a 3 burner BBQ – here, I am using a Napoleon LEX485).

Once burners are on (medium to high heat), close the hood and allow the wood to start smoking. Turn the fire down to low-medium, and If the grilling planks catch fire and the fire is really big, shift them to the other side of the grill without the fire.

close the hood and wait for about 45 mins – 1 hour, checking on the meat once in a while, flipping it over at about 30 mins into the smoking process – cook until golden brown.

Enjoy!

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Ai, Picanha! : Grilling the Brazilian Prize Cut

My latest BBQ obsession is Brazilian Churrasco (pronounced like SHOE-HASS-KO). I’ve always loved a good ol’ Brazilian BBQ, but churrasco restaurants are pretty limited here in Singapore and not to mention, pricey. So instead of eating out – I thought, why not just do it myself at home?

For this post, we’re using an Ultra Chef UC430 to grill Picanha (pronounce PI-KAN-YA) and cook Brazilian rice and beans.

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What is Picanha, you might ask.

Picanha is actually the rump cap, and the most prized part of the cow in Brazil. A lot of restaurants will try to pass off the rest of the rump as Picanha – but know that Picanha is separated from the rest of the rump by a vein, and it is never heavier than 1.5kg (any bigger and you’re probably getting a “fake” and it will not be as tender or flavourful).

Buying meat in Singapore can be quite a blow to your wallet, which is why I like to get my meat from Australia (just because a lot of friends travel back and forth). There is a South American grocery store in Fitzroy Melbourne called Casa Iberica that sells the Picanha cut of the meat and it’s already sealed up, and easy to bring home.

However, if you don’t have any friends who are coming from Australia, the next cheapest place to get meat from is Zac Butchery. There are 2 outlets, one in Chun Tin & one in Figaro Street. I usually visit the Chun Tin outlet because I’m a Westie, and the butcher there prepared the rump cap for me. I am not sure if they will cut up a rump cap for you in other butchers, but Zac Butchery is quite flexible so I like ordering from them. Another suggestion is to perhaps visit your neighbourhood wet market and speak to the butcher there. You could ask them to order in the rump cap, and perhaps get a better price too. Just an idea of the price difference – in Melbourne, I paid about AUD30 for 1.5kg of Picanha, whereas I paid SGD27 for 400grams of Picanha here (although, the Picanha I got from here was a Wagyu, so it was a bit more premium but I don’t mind paying a little more because you can really taste the difference).

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Preparing the picanha is simple. Slice up the chunk of meat into 1 inch thick slices.

All you will need is coarse sea salt. Grab a plate and spread a layer of the salt on it, and just flip the meat on top of it so it collects the salt. When that’s done, place the meat on top on the already lit grill and sprinkle a little bit more salt on the top. Brazilian restaurants here cut down on the salt they cook with to meet Singaporean tastes, but it’s usually a lot saltier in Brazil. Don’t be surprised if you get lots of salt popping, especially if you’re using a charcoal grill. Also expect a few flare ups from the oil. Close the hood, grill until preferred done-ness (not forgetting to flip it), and take off the grill to rest the meat.

Usually, the meat isn’t consumed as a whole steak – it is cut up into slices and served with Brazilian Rice, black beans and Farofa (seasoned casava flour). Farofa can’t be found here, so I order it from Amazon and have it shipped via 65Daigou or VPOST. I usually order some Guarana Antartica (Guarana flavoured soda) at the same time. But these are all little luxuries I splurge on.

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I cook the Brazilian Rice and Black Beans on the side burner of the UC430 (for those of you wondering what the side burner is for, it usually turns the BBQ into an outdoor kitchen so you don’t have to go in and out of your home a million times). “Brazilian Rice” isn’t necessarily rice that’s made in Brazil, rather, it is a way to cook the rice. I use Jasmine rice in this instance, and the rice is first sauteed in oil and garlic paste/minced garlic and salt, before water is added into the pot. Use a larger pot, as a smaller pot can cause the rice to be mushy. As for the black beans, I usually make a whole batch in the pressure cooker – storing half in the freezer and cooking the rest (also with garlic and salt and oil).

The final dish looks like this:

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And Farofa comes in this packet:

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