dartharaiz said:

Hi there! As I browse through pasta recipes I often wander, do we really need to follow the kind of pasta written in each recipe? I mean, what other (significant) differences can each pasta have? (other than shapes?)

Ahoy! According to Justin Dunham: As a general taxonomy, you can split pasta up into a few categories: sheets, strands, shapes and tubes. 

Sheets are fairly easy to explain; they’re made for dishes like lasagna that are prepared as casseroles or as pies, rather than as a dish that’s eaten from a bowl with just a fork. Some have ruffles, I assume for sauce retention.

Strands are a pretty simple shape, right? The main variation among them is thickness.

  • Thin strands are meant for light sauces, like a simple angel hair with olive oil and garlic, or perhaps a thin tomato sauce. Otherwise, the strands get lost in the sauce, and you don’t get their texture at all. Also, with thin strands, the lubrication provided by thinner and oil-based sauces helps keep the strands from sticking together.
  • Thick strands are meant for heavy sauces. There’s a reason it’s fettucine alfredo, and not angel hair alfredo. (I think putting it this way does the best job of explaining the difference. If there were angel hair in your alfredo, would you even notice its presence?)
  • Spaghetti is kind of in the middle, and is a nice all-purpose pasta for this reason. If you are really detail-oriented, you can look for square spaghetti, which has slightly more surface area for sauce to stick to.

For tubes and shapes, the main variation is also by size.

  • Very small tubes, like ditalini and small shapes, like orzo or even alphabet pasta, are meant for soup. Some authorities make distinctions between pasta for soup and pasta for broth, but I won’t get into that here.
  • The bigger the shape or tube gets, the heartier the sauce you can serve it with. So rigatoni, for example, could be good with a bolognese because the tubes are big enough to fill up with sauce and ground meat. Note that apparently spaghetti bolognese is not really served within Italy.
  • The giant shapes, like giant shells, are meant to be stuffed. Giant shells are also often baked, and this is generally possible with the larger pastas like ziti. They won’t fall apart after being in a hot oven for a while. Ravioli and tortellini are stuffed too, and their size is dictated by the same considerations as above, and also how much you’re putting in them.

I think he got the most of it there. Hope this helps (and yes to the Mie Aceh foodwish!)!

Anonymous said: Hi, love your blog. Is there a way to get an email update when you have a new post? thank you

Hi there! You can subscribe to my RSS feed by clicking at the “RSS” link at the bottom left corner of my blog :)



this is too much for me!!! >w<

Нужно учиться готовить любимую и вкусную еду.
Я обожаю стейки и сендвичи из цельнозернового хлеба и тунца с яйцом *_*
Ничего вкуснее не придумаешь!
Ну, кроме бананов.

Making Egg Tarts

This post goes out to Eeel who made a foodwish for egg tarts.

When I first started cooking I was purely a metric person, the reason simply being that it was more familiar and I liked the precision that comes with using a scale. It used to be a pain because a lot of recipes out there that I used as reference would use the US cup & spoon measurements and there would be a need for conversions and approximations - this got extremely tedious whenever I needed to make half the amount of the recipe. 

Then one fateful day my scale broke, and on the shopping trip I went on to replace it, I saw a set of measuring cups and spoons dangling 4 feet up and no more than 3 feet away from where I was crouched down to retrieve a set of measuring scales (they always have them at the bottom shelves). I decided that maybe I should give it a try, and it all pretty much changed from there. Setting up ingredients became a lot easier and relatively fuss-free. That is, until I went to look for egg tart recipes. You should give it a try, and then you’ll see that 98% of the ones floating around are written in metric measurements. I didn’t think there’d be a day where I’d wish for a scale more, and so it was back to the good ol’ converter for today. I’m giving the amounts in the US measurements here, just for convenience sake, so I hope this will be helpful.


[ 1 cup icing sugar + 3 cups all-purpose flour + 1 cup butter + 1 egg + a dash of salt + 2/3 cup sugar + 1 ½ cup hot water + 8-9 eggs, beaten + 1 cup milk ]

In a medium bowl, mix together the icing sugar and flour.

Mix in butter with a fork or rub it into the flour with your hands until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Lightly whisk the 1 egg together with the salt.

Stir in the egg until the mixture forms a dough. The texture should be slightly moist. Add more butter if it is too dry, or more flour, if the dough seems greasy.

Divide the dough into 12-14 pieces and shape into 1 ½ inch balls.

Using your thumb, press the balls into tart molds so that it covers the bottom, and goes up [preferably] higher than the sides (because these shells will shrink a bit when they cook).

A note about the tart molds: Ideally you should use the metal, disposable tart molds that will keep its shape. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any here and tried my luck with the quadrupled regular paper molds. If you’re stuck in the same predicament as me, then read on for modifications.

Use 2 fingers (or thumbs, in my case) to shape the edge.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Combine the sugar and hot water in a measuring jug and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool for 1-2 mins. Stir in the milk and vanilla.

 Add in the eggs and whisk to combine into the sugar-milk mixture.

Strain the filling through a sieve, and fill the tart shells.

If you’re using [quadrupled] paper molds, then take care not to overfill the tart shells. This will make the pastry unstable while cooking and result to custard run offs…

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown, and the filling is puffed up a little bit.

like these. Ye have been warned.

To check whether or not your filling has set, do the toothpick test by sticking a toothpick to the middlemost part of the custard filling. If it stands up, then you’re good to go.

It is advisable to serve the egg tarts while they are piping hot from the oven. You will able to taste the crunchy crust with the soft moist egg custard fresh from the oven. The egg tarts can be kept in refrigerator up to 3 days.


Estimated Nutritional Information:

Makes about 12-14 egg tarts

Per Egg Tart:

Total Calories: 173kcals

Carbohydrate: 18g

Fat: 10g (5.7g saturated)

Protein: 4g

Cholesterol: 54mg


Chef John …. This is TOO MUCH!!!

Love you! Love your voice! and your FOODS!!!


Mahi Mahi Ceviche Recipe - Marinated Fish Salad - Great for Summer! (by foodwishes)

Making Chicken Shawarma

“GIIIIIRL, this vegan ice cream is great and I hate to bother but it’s been like a year since i asked LOL, but WHERE MY SHAWARMA *snaps fingers*????”

— lovetomasticate Can we just take a moment? Because I don’t think I’ve ever had someone rub their thumb against the middle finger so hard it makes a sound, at me. There just simply was a lack of ghettoliciousness where I went to school. So before I break out into the cup song by way of reply, let me say that YES, I’m sorry it took so long to write a shawarma post because you see, it’s very difficult to get shawarma (I downright refuse to spell it out as "shwarma") right in home kitchens.

When done right, a chicken shawarma consists of succulent, tangy chicken pieces shaved off a mothership stack of flattened chicken breasts that’s been marinated overnight in a carefully concocted mixture of tenderizing yogurt and spices, which is then roasted in a vertical spit that turns against a soft grilling fire. This fire is so, so soft that it merely kisses the meat. KISSES it. For HOURS. When done right, you’ll find pieces of grilled tomatoes that’s been cooked on the wide skillet that lies under the twirling mothership stack, Catching and tumbling in the rendered juices and fat. When done right, there is always a squirt of creamy toum; a pungent garlicky sauce that some might mistake as garlic mayonnaise. Never make that mistake. Like, ever. When done right, there’s pieces of Lebanese pickles punctuating every bite; not too overpowering, but enough kick to show its presence. This is all completely wrapped (i.e. none of that incompletely-wrapped-because-there’s-too-much-filling or stuffed inside a split pita nonsense) inside the day’s pillowy khubz for easy handling, which as you can see I completely ignored because an all-wrapped up shawarma unfortunately isn’t very photogenic. Apologies. It’s all in the name of aesthetics, so make sure you wrap yours all snug and tight. PS: To other foodwishers: You know the deal guys! Foodwishes here have no expiration date so I’ll get to them eventually. And for the anon who made a foodwish for Salbutes (new food!yay!), I’ll make ‘em once I locate a bag of masa harina. Peace out! LEBANESE GARLIC SAUCE/DIP (serves 4-6) [ 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled + ¼ cup vegetable oil + juice of ½ a lemon + a generous pinch of salt, about ¼ teaspoon ]

Make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature. Using a food processor or a pestle and mortar, mash the garlic and salt until it turns to a paste. Stop the processor and scrape garlic down the sides before running again, and repeat this process.

Keep the processor running before adding the vegetable oil, a teaspoon at a time until the mixture has emulsified. Add the lemon juice last and give it a final 20-second whiz before storing until needed. You can make this up to a week ahead and refrigerate it. Just make sure to bring it to room temperature before serving.

LEBANESE QUICK PICKLES:2 garlic cloves, peeled + 1 cup vinegar + 1/2 cup water + 1/2 cup sugar + 1 tablespoons kosher salt + ½ tablespoon each of peppercorns, mustard seed, celery seed and coriander seed + vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, green beans, peppers and hot peppers, washed and trimmed ] In a small sauce pan, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and spices to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.

Cut the vegetables into bite size pieces. Pack a jar (or two) tightly with vegetables and garlic cloves. Ladle the vinegar solution into the jars to cover the vegetables. Screw the lids on and refrigerate for a whole day before serving. This can also be made a week ahead.


[ 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast + ¼ cup lemon juice + 1 tablespoon tomato puree + 2 tablespoons plain yogurt + 1 ½ tablespoon vinegar + 6 cloves of garlic, minced + ½ tablespoon cumin seeds + ½ tablespoon coriander seed + ½ tablespoon ground turmeric + ½ tablespoon black pepper + ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper + 1 teaspoon garlic powder + ½ teaspoon onion powder + 1 teaspoon salt + ½ teaspoon sugar or honey + ½ teaspoon dried thyme + 1 teaspoon paprika  + 1 tablespoon olive oil ] ADDITIONAL ingredient: 1 or 2 medium sized tomatoes, for serving.

Cut each chicken breast horizontally so that each piece is about ½ an inch thick. If you have small breasts (cue the giggles), give it a good whack with a rolling pin so they’re all the same thickness. Mix all the marinating ingredients in a blender. Transfer the chicken pieces into a shallow container and coat well with the marinade. Cover and marinate in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Place a griddle pan or a skillet on high heat until very hot. Cook the chicken pieces for 2 minutes on each side until brown. Transfer chicken to an oven tray and finish off in the oven for 4–6 minutes, or until cooked through and no pink meat remains. Remove and allow to rest for a few minutes before cutting the chicken into 1cm-thick slices. Drizzle one or two tablespoons of remaining juices from the tray over the meat. Keep warm

Then, ideally, you should cut the tomatoes to “a little bigger than bite-sized” pieces, toss it with the remaining juices in the tray and blast on the broiler until the tomatoes are just roasted. 

To assemble, grab a pillowy pita and form a line of chicken pieces. Spread a thin layer of garlicky toum, line up some grilled tomatoes and pickled vegetables. You can add some shredded lettuce and sliced red onion if you please, but nothing more! Roll a good, tight one and eat. Immediately.



Oy,,, Chef John

/me already dead

Making Suya

About a thousand years ago, misskenshin made a foodwish for Suya. At the time, I had no idea what it is and after some searching found out that it is a trademark of the northern part of Nigeria; delicious bits of peanut-rubbed, spiced beef on sticks that are cooked over hot coals. I then added that foodwish to the growing list that have yet still to be made.

About a week ago, during a particularly long briefing before my afternoon shift, I started searching for Suya recipes. There are many variations to them; one calls for garlic, while another strictly forbids. After going through about half a dozen recipes, I’ve come up with my own take for Suya. It requires grated fresh ginger and minced garlic, as opposed to the powder form in many traditional recipes. I also added a bit of sugar for a little caramelization. Serve it with the tomatoes and onions, please, for it’d only be half as good without them.


[ 1 ½ lbs beef (I used a sirloin), cut to thin slices against the grain + ½ cup unsalted roasted peanuts + ½ tablespoon paprika + ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper + ½ teaspoon salt + ½ teaspoon grated ginger + 1 clove of garlic, minced + juice of ½ a lime + 1 teaspoon sugar + 1 ½ tablespoon oil + red onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves to serve ]

Soak some wooden skewers in water before you start

Make the peanut paste by adding the peanuts to a food processor and process till peanuts are finely ground. Add the spices and pulse a few seconds until evenly combined. 

Add a bit of oil to bring it all together in a paste-like consistency. It is sort of dry, yet it clumps up together with the addition of the oil.

Add the peanut mixture to the beef spreading( smearing) a bit on each slice. Take your time with coating each slices, as you want all the pieces to be covered in the peanut marinade.

Leave the beef to marinate for a few hours up to overnight. Add the sliced beef on soaked wooden skewers or kabob skewers.   

Preheat your grill on high. Oil the grill plate and place the beef skewers to cook.

Let cook for a few minutes, and then turn over and cook the other side. The sticks should be cooked in less than 10 minutes, depending on how thick your slices of meat are.

Serve the suya with fresh slices of red onion and chunks of tomato, garnished with cilantro leaves and a lime wedge.


I was feeling adventurous for #dinner tonight and decided to cook something I’ve never made before—Indian food! I was nervous how it would turn out, but I must admit it was freaking AMAZING! Thanks to Chef John of #FoodWishes for the recipes! Pictured: Chef John’s #TandooriChicken and #redCurry #butternutSquash atop #Indian style #basmatiRice, paired with a #tequilaSunrise. Also, my kitchen smells like heaven right now. #foodporn #savorysight #IndianFood #yum #IndianCooking #ChefJohn (at Echo Hil Estates, Goodlettsville, Tennessee)

Making 40 Clove Garlic Chicken

…with Creamed Spinach Mashed Potatoes. Didn’t want to scare you with the long ass title there. So a few days ago bogoshipo made a foodwish for a Thanksgiving dish to bring over to her boyfriend’s parents house. We bounced off ideas at each other (I was throwing things like zaa'tar lemon chicken and cottage pie at her which probably scared her a bit) and arrived at a conclusion: she loves something with garlic. And so garlic it is then, all 40 cloves of them. Now the biggest ordeal in this recipe is probably peeling (and counting - you don’t want to miss a clove!) the garlic. The rest is a cruise. I served it with a creamed spinach and mashed potatoes combo because, well, it’s Thanksgiving and you’re allowed to splurge a little in the calorie department. You can serve it over polenta, roasted root vegetables or even risotto. You choose your delectable poison.


[ 40 cloves of garlic (about 3 heads), peeled + 2 tablespoon vegetable oil + 8-10 pieces of cut up chicken (you can use breast or thighs) + a small handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped + ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth + ¼ cup heavy cream + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter + salt and black pepper ]

Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees F

Pat the chicken and skin dry with paper towels and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper.

Heat the oil in a dutch oven or oven-safe skillet just until you start to see wisps of smoke. Place chicken in skillet skin-side down, and cook until the skin is well browned, about 7-10 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a plate (don’t try to pry the chicken off from the pan, if it is well browned, it will loosen by itself) skin-side up and set aside. Remove all the fat (the fat from the chicken will have rendered out and add to the oil you began with) until you’re left with just 1 tablespoon of oil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and cook until evenly browned for about 1 minute.

Add in the chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Scrape the brown bits off the pan and into the garlic. Add in the chopped parsley and cream. Return the chicken to the dutch oven, skin side up and remove from heat.

Now this step is totally optional, but you can make a “dough seal” by mixing ½ cup of flour with enough water to make a pliable dough. Divide the dough into 2 and roll into a long log and paste it onto the rim of the dutch oven before putting on the lid to make a complete seal. You can just use a piece of aluminium foil and then put the lid on. I ended up eating the dough seal with the garlic gravy (whaat? I hate wasting food!)

Moving on. Cook the chicken for about 20-25 minutes in the oven, or until the juices run clear.

Now if you want to make the creamed spinach mashed potatoes, now is the time to do so and here is the recipe:


[lbs potatoes + ½ cup heavy cream + 2 tablespoon unsalted butter + 1 teaspoon salt + 1/3 teaspoon black pepper + 6 cups baby spinach ]

Cover potatoes with salted cold water in a large saucepan and simmer, uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes.

While potatoes are simmering, bring cream, butter, salt, and pepper to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered.

Drain potatoes in a colander and cool slightly.

Stir spinach into warm cream, tossing to coat, and when slightly wilted (after about 1 minute), immediately add to potatoes. Mash potatoes and spinach until almost smooth. Season to taste and keep warm.

Get the chicken and place the pieces on a serving dish. Mash the garlic in the dutch oven and stir in the unsalted butter. There will be more than enough heat to melt it and make the sauce glossy. 

Serve the chicken with the sauce and the spinach mashed potatoes.



Just in case you thought I was kidding about eating the dough seal.

▶ Braised Lamb with Radishes & Mint - Basque-Inspired Braised Lamb Shoulder - YouTube

▶ Braised Lamb with Radishes & Mint – Basque-Inspired Braised Lamb Shoulder – YouTube

Learn how to make a Braised Lamb with Radishes & Mint Recipe! Go to… for the ingredient amounts, extra information, and many, many more video recipes! I hope you enjoy this easy Basque-Inspired Braised Lamb with Radishes recipe!

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Easy Oven Roasted Artichokes!  From