Dear Milk Streeter, 

I recently interviewed a cookbook author who said, “The great thing about cooking is that you are always a beginner.” Odd, perhaps, but true. Every time I step into the kitchen, I come across an unanswered question, I discover something new, or I make a mistake and learn from it.

Here at Milk Street, we have been giving ourselves an intensive culinary education. Use salted butter instead of unsalted. Turn to carbon-steel pans for non-stick cooking. Under-whip egg whites and under-fold batters. Let shrimp cook gently in a sauce using residual heat. Undercook pasta and grains so they absorb dressings and sauces better. Why “salt and pepper to taste” is an outdated concept. Here’s a tip for storing and grating ginger, an aromatic we use often and generously here at Milk Street:

GRATING GINGER: Fresh ginger lasts about three weeks in a refrigerator’s produce drawer. We prefer to store ours in a zip-close bag in the freezer—not only does it keep for months, it also is easier to grate. Grate it directly from the freezer—no need to thaw—using a fine wand-style grater. If you’re on Facebook, you can like’ our page and watch our grating ginger video.

We are proud to announce that the next issue of Milk Street Magazine is off to the printer shortly — you can expect to see your copy in late February if you already have subscribed. If not, this would be a good time to subscribe to Milk Street Magazine. The issue includes some of my favorite recipes including tahini swirl brownies, cracked potatoes, Cuban pork, smashed cucumber salad, chipotle shrimp (from Diana Kennedy in Mexico), a quick Peruvian pesto, and stir-fried rice from my trip to Thailand in December. We also take a look at how to use vegetable cleavers and come to some surprising conclusions about which knives to use and when.

I leave you with a thought from Dorothy Parker about writing. “If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of ‘The Elements of Style.’ The first-greatest, of course, is to shoot them now while they’re happy.”



Christopher Kimball
Founder, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street