Give Cheese a Longer Life
Your refrigerator’s cheese drawer actually isn’t a great place to store cheese. That space tends to promote moisture, which can cause spoilage. That’s why we prefer the Cheese Grotto, a device inspired by the caves cheesemakers have used for centuries for aging and storage. This cleverly designed container uses natural materials and climate control to preserve the freshness and taste of cheese. It’s handmade from breathable bamboo to prevent premature molding and contains a clay brick humidifier on the bottom to regulate moisture. And it makes a big difference. At room temperature, the cheese grotto kept cheese fresh up to 10 days, and three weeks when refrigerated. Capable of holding up to 8 pounds of cheese, the Cheese Grotto Classico fits well in most refrigerators and comes with two removable shelves to accommodate wheels and wedges of all sizes. Available for $350 at 177milkstreet.com/so22-grotto.
The Kitchin-Tan Knife Does It All
We love serrated knives for all manner of kitchen tasks. We don’t love that they only seem to come in two sizes—too big and too small. Our search for the ultimate serrated knife—one that’s good for more than just slicing bread—inspired us to create our own. Made from high-carbon 1.4116 German steel, our 5½-inch-long Serrated Kitchin-Tan Utility Knife fills the gap between chef’s knife and paring knife. Sufficiently long for big jobs yet easily maneuverable for detail work, this knife’s grippy teeth slice through anything, be it fibrous asparagus stalks, thick-skinned squash, crusty baguettes, rubbery citrus peels or a gooey wedge of soft cheese. Tapering toward the blade for a secure grip, the ergonomic polymer handle adapts to a variety of cutting styles, while the blade’s razor-sharp serrations hold an edge for ages without maintenance. Available for $89.95 at 177milkstreet.com/so22-knife.
One-of-a-Kind Berber Bowls
Fired in 200-year-old kilns, these Moroccan glazed bowls from Verve Culture are helping preserve an ancient Berber metalcraft. Made in Safi, a small village on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, each bowl is hand-shaped from the region’s red clay. The bowls then are fired in the ancient kilns, covered in vibrantly colored glazes and adorned with beaten Berber silver, a material made from about 80 percent silver, traditionally used for Moroccan housewares or jewelry. To help carry on this tradition, Verve Culture partners with local artisans to make these bowls. As useful as they are eye-catching, they’re wonderful for all sorts of entertaining. We love to use them for tapas, snacks, even desserts. Sets of three are available for $50 at 177milkstreet.com/so22-bowls.
A Frijolera for the Perfect Beans
For the best beans, we follow the lead of home cooks in Mexico—low and slow in a clay pot. Ancient Cookware’s frijolera is a handmade traditional glazed clay pot made to simmer beans evenly over low heat. With a narrow top and wide bottom designed to promote equal heat distribution, the pot ensures that beans cook up perfectly moist and tender. We use it to make everything from Mexican-inspired stewed pinto beans with garlic and cilantro to Turkish beans with pickled tomatoes. And though the pottery is handmade (and thus not uniformly round), each pot’s lid still fits snugly for efficient cooking. Cook with it the traditional way—over a direct flame—or use it in the oven or microwave. Available for $74.95 at 177milkstreet.com/so22-pot.
Fruity Candies That Actually Taste Like Fruit
Artisan confectioners Wally & Whiz have done the seemingly impossible: They created fruity candies that taste like real fruit (not just syrupy sweetness). Danish entrepreneur Kristian Hansen’s Winegum Candies burst with complex flavors: summery, zingy Blackcurrant with Strawberry; warmly spiced yet botanical Elderflower with Ginger; tropical, floral Mango with Passionfruit; juicy, punchy Mango with Raspberry; and delicately sweet-tart Grapefruit with Apricot. Available for $14.95 per 4.9-ounce box at 177milkstreet.com/so22-candy.
The Piggy Steamy Lid
When Christopher Kimball first stumbled across this quirky Japanese item, he was immediately intrigued. Since then, the Marna Piggy Steamer has become one of his favorite kitchen tools. Don’t be fooled by its playful appearance—this silicone steamer is as functional as it is whimsical. The lid forms a tight seal over pots and containers, venting steam through the snout. After steaming, just lift it by its ear-shaped handles, no potholders required. Flexible and compact, it fits any vessel less than 8½ inches in diameter. In addition to no-fuss stovetop steaming and splatter-free microwave cooking, we also love to use it for refrigerator storage in place of plastic wrap. And cleaning it is as easy as tossing it in the dishwasher. Available for $24.95 at 177milkstreet.com/so22-lid.
Make a Meal Out of Almost Anything
Cooks around the world use their pantries as the starting point for meals that are fast, flavorful and weeknight simple. And that’s the mission of our latest book, Milk Street Cook What You Have—to help home cooks discover the power and possibilities of the foods they already have on hand.
The book’s nearly 225 recipes begin with the most common ingredients in your pantry, then demonstrate how easily they can be transformed into delicious meals. Crack open a can of tomatoes and you’re minutes away from a rich tomato bisque, cheesy chilaquiles rojos or even a spicy one-pot pasta all’arrabbiata.
Or raid the refrigerator for eggs and leftover vegetables, which can be used to make a quick fried rice or our version of the Turkish spinach-and-egg dish known as ispanakli yumurta. Frozen chicken can become anything from Hungarian paprikash to hearty chicken salad with green tahini. And if you have a wedge of Parmesan and a few lemons, you’re well on your way to a light, citrusy pesto.
Above all, pantry cooking needs to be flexible, so Cook What You Have offers plenty of options. No udon for a quick Asian noodle stir-fry? Don’t worry. Suggestions for substituting Italian pastas are built right into the recipe. This style of kitchen improv allows you to make recipes your own—and that’s when cooking becomes an adventure. Available for $35 at 177milkstreet.com/so22-book.