Superior Cast-Iron Cooking Meets Japanese Design
In Japan, many cooks turn to the furusato—a traditional cast-iron pot designed to expertly retain heat—when making nabe (which translates to “hot pot”), a meal of thinly sliced meats, seafood, vegetables and noodles cooked in hot broth. Here at Milk Street, we’re big proponents of cooking with cast iron because it gets hot and stays hot. So we’ve developed our very own Cast-Iron Furusato, paying tribute to Japan’s approach to wonderful soups and stews. But the furusato isn’t just for nabe: It’s also versatile enough for everyday cooking. Rugged yet lightweight, this vessel moves easily from cooking to serving. The cast iron keeps meals warm, while its stunning lid, carved from Japanese cedar, makes it an attractive addition to any table. And unlike some furusato pots, ours is compatible with any stovetop—it can even be used directly over a fire or grill. And to make handling easier, we include a silicone pot holder. Available for $79.95 at 177milkstreet.com/ma23-pot.
This Chili Paste Is the Bomba
Fiery, fruity and bright, Calabrian chili bomba is an ingredient meant for impact—it’s right there in the name, which is Italian for “bomb.” We’re particularly partial to the version by Che Fico. This San Francisco restaurant is known for its marriage of Italian and Californian flavors, and their bomba is no exception. Where many chili condiments tend to be one-note and lacking dimension, Che Fico ups the complexity by combining traditional Calabrian chilies with bright Fresnos, along with savory roasted garlic and a splash of tangy vinegar. A single silky spoonful works wonders on pizza, pasta and eggs, beautifully balancing their richness. We also like to spread it on sandwiches or use it to brighten braises. Available for $16.95 per 9-ounce jar, and $28.95 per 16-ounce jar, at 177milkstreet.com/ma23-chili.
Oregano Unlike Any You’ve Tasted
Greece is home to some of the world’s finest varietals of oregano, and one of the most fragrant we’ve tried comes from Daphnis and Chloe. Herbs grown and handpicked by organic farmers in a small Peloponnesian mountain village are gathered into these gorgeous oregano bouquets. Skilled workers create each by hand, taking care to keep florets intact to preserve the delicate flavor, scent and texture. Peppery, floral and a bit earthy, these oregano bouquets are rich in essential oils— a far cry from the stale, lackluster stuff found on supermarket shelves. Just a pinch can enhance anything from sauces and salads to rice dishes and roasted meats. Available for $15.95 at 177milkstreet.com/ma23-herbs.
Oodles of Colorful Noodles
Too often we think of noodles as secondary ingredients, a sideshow for sauces and dressings. But these Korean noodles, known as guksu, deserve the spotlight on their own. Handcrafted by South Korean master noodle maker Kim Hyun-Kyu, these vibrant Five-Colored Noodles are as flavorful as they are colorful. They get their vivid hues and subtle but distinctive taste from garlic chives, sweet pumpkin, beets and white and black rice. After launching his company, Grand Noodle, in 1987, Kim experimented with the recipe for years before finally achieving perfection. When cooked, they boast clean vegetal flavor and a pleasant chew that works beautifully in all manner of recipes. We especially like them in bibim guksu, a classic Korean cold noodle dish. A set of all five flavors is available for $49.95 at 177milkstreet.com/ma23-noodles.
Mini Mexican Cookware
Originally from Spain, the cazuela (a traditional style of wide terra-cotta dish) is used throughout Mexico for everything from stovetop simmering to cooking over an open flame. And it’s not hard to see why this age-old earthenware has staying power: Lighter than Pyrex (and prettier, too), the terra-cotta is nonstick thanks to its beautiful glazed finish—which also makes for easy cleanup. We particularly love the mini unlidded cazuelas from Ancient Cookware. Made in Hidalgo, these individually handcrafted pieces start with locally mined clay. Each meticulously shaped dish takes up to three weeks to produce. Safe in the oven, on the stove or in the microwave, they’re especially handy to use for warm dips or for making individual gratins and pot pies. Available as a set of two for $44.95 at 177milkstreet.com/ma23-cazuela.
The All-Purpose Knife Your Kitchen Needs
One of Japan’s most popular knife styles is one that most American kitchens are sorely lacking: a midsized utility knife that’s bigger and stronger than a paring knife but smaller and more manageable than a chef’s knife. Why Western cooks typically don’t have such a knife is beyond us, so we decided to make our own. The Milk Street Kitchin-kiji is the ultimate all-purpose knife, perfect for “in-between” jobs. The broad blade lends stability while chopping, while its finely pointed tip makes detail work easier, be it slicing garlic or trimming fat from meat. And the large handle offers greater comfort. Available for $56.95 at 177milkstreet.com/ma23-knife.
The Secrets to the World’s Best Noodles
Nearly every culture serves some sort of noodle, from fettuccine, ramen and Spätzle to lo mein, gnocchi and udon. Flour and water transformed into thousands of shapes, sizes and uses. And our new book, Milk Street Noodles: Secrets to the World’s Best Noodles, from Fettuccine Alfredo to Pad Thai to Miso Ramen, makes it easy to try them all.
As a sneak peek, we’re sharing one of the book’s 125 recipes, inspired by our travels.
Get Ready to Cook
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