Work Sharp Culinary E5 Sharpening Systems
If you’ve invested in good-quality knives and want to keep them in tip-top shape, we can’t recommend Oregon company Work Sharp’s E5 Sharpening System highly enough. Our No. 1 choice for sharpening knives at home, it features a unique timer-driven belt system that works exactly like a professional sharpener’s grinder, putting a fine razor edge on blades without removing too much metal (the problem with other electric grinders). And with three timed settings, you won’t need to worry about under-sharpening or over-sharpening.
The E5’s grind angle is fixed at an ideal 17 degrees, which falls between acute Japanese blades and thicker western-style blade angles. If you want more specific options when sharpening, we recommend picking up the upgrade kit, which includes guides and extra abrasive belts for further fine-tuning the grind.
*The E5 is available on its own or bundled together with Work Sharp’s M3 Knife Sharpener, which is a classic honing rod made simpler to use.*
- Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.5 x 5.2 inches
- Net Weight: 2.5 pounds
Skeppshult Cast-Iron Spice Kryddkvarn "Crush" Grinder
This gorgeous cast-iron, handmade grinder from Swedish company Skeppshult is a new take on a classic we’ve carried for years. Its large teeth do a terrific job of breaking down dried herbs and are ideal for hard whole spices like cinnamon sticks, star anise or cardamom; the wide gaps between the teeth are also easier for containing the ingredients. Skeppshult's clever labyrinthine pattern does half the work for you, especially since the weighty cast iron breaks apart big pieces just by placing the twist top on the device. We also like the grinder’s gently radiused design and solid heft. One caveat: The grinder should only be used with dry ingredients; otherwise the “teeth” can develop surface oxidation.
- Weight: 4 pounds
- Dimensions: Diameter: 4 inches | Height: 2 inches
- Materials: Cast iron. Exterior treated with black lacquer to avoid staining and seasoned with canola oil.
- Use: Dry ingredients only.
- Care: Grind coarse salt or rice to clean.
- Place of Origin: Sweden
Kamado-San Double-Lid Donabe Rice Cooker
If you eat as much rice as we do, its worthwhile owning a proper rice cooker. There’s convenience to an electric cooker, but we much prefer the remarkably moist, fluffy grains of rice produced by clay donabe-style rice cookers. The unique design of these age-old pots features two lids—the inset lid allows some moisture to escape to control the rate at which the rice cooks and lightly pressurizes the pot. This particularly thick-bottomed, durable pot is made from a uniquely porous clay, which heats evenly and maintains a steady heat for very uniform cooking. Beyond rice, the pot can also be used for small batches of soups and stews, like a quick miso soup. We love the thick rustic glaze and the way the pot patinas with use. It looks good enough to come right to the table.
- Size: 9.5” x 12”x 7” high (24 cm x 30 cm x 18 cm high) – including handles and lid
- Capacity: 1.5 qt (1,500 ml)
- Able to cook up to 3 cups (about 2 ¼ US cups =540 ml) of uncooked rice
- Weight: 8 lbs (3.6 kg)
Berard Round Salt Keeper
We are amazed at how many home cooks do not use a salt box, considering how much easier it is to cook with one. With a container near your stove instead of a shaker, it is possible to precisely measure out salt or pick up a pinch with your fingers. There are lots of designs out there, but we are particularly fond of the salt boxes by French company Berard. Both the speckled grey ceramic and olivewood salt cellars have magnetic lids that easily pop open when you need seasoning but also fit securely for storage. Choose either the gray for a lid that comes off completely or the olivewood for a swivel-top mechanism. The olive wood used to make the lids on both versions is from older trees, making them denser and better at keeping out unwanted moisture and odors. This salt box is attractive enough that we sometimes use it on the dinner table for an elegant addition that doesn’t require shaking.
-Net Weight: 14.1 ounces
-Dimensions: diameter: 4 inches, height: 3 inches
-Capacity: 8 ounces
-Care: Hand wash Only
-Designed in France
-Net Weight: 9.8 ounces
-Dimensions: diameter: 4 inches, height: 2.75 inches
-Capacity: 7.5 ounces
-Care: Hand wash Only
-Designed in France
J.K. Adams for Milk Street Walnut Cutting eBoard
I partnered with Vermont company J.K. Adams to design this Milk Street Exclusive eBoard, with two key features designed for home cooks. One, a magnetic spot to hold a chef’s knife. With young kids, I don’t like knives just lying around. A knife-shaped groove in the board keeps blades lying flat, held in place with magnets, and you can turn the sharp edge safely inward, out of harm's way. Second, I wanted a spot to put my phone so I could see it while cooking — I often use the step-by-step photos and videos at the Milk Street website, and this would be the perfect spot, right on the cutting board itself. I could also take phone calls over speakerphone in a pinch. (The slot is long enough to also hold a tablet.) We went through several iterations to find the right angle and width for the slot, so it could accommodate phones in cases but wasn't so loose that the phone wobbled.
J.K. Adams suggested that the flip side be perfectly flat so you revert to a traditional cutting board design just by turning it over. A nice touch. For the material, we decided on a dark walnut wood with a gorgeous grain, durable enough to withstand denting without blunting or dulling your blades. The color will deepen beautifully with use, and with J.K. Adams' fine craftsmanship, the eBoard is built to last and bound to become a family heirloom.
- Dimensions: Total: 19 x 14 x 1 inches | Cutting surface: 17 x 14 inches
- Net Weight: 4.5 pounds
- Material: Walnut wood, mineral oil finish
- Includes: Built-in slot for technological devices; embedded magnetic knife holder
- Care: Wash gently with warm, soapy water after each use. Do not soak in water or put in dishwasher. Towel-dry after washing and allow to air-dry thoroughly. Condition regularly with J.K. Adams Mineral Oil or Beeswax Wood Conditioner.
- Place of Origin: Vermont, U.S.
Huilerie Beaujolaise Honey Vinegar
The rounded floral qualities of honey are a perfect counterpoint for the sharpness of vinegar in this small-batch ingredient from Huilerie Beaujolaise, To achieve the perfect agrodolce balance of sweet and tangy, the company must closely oversee the fermentation process: The higher alcohol content a liquid has, the more acidic it will be when it becomes vinegar, so the producer is careful not to let the mead ferment too long. Instead, the vinegar retains a deep honey richness, with a more syrupy consistency and fuller mouthfeel than other vinegars.
Use Huilerie Beaujolaise Honey Vinegar to deglaze the pan after searing pork chops, or mix with browned butter to drizzle over roasted meats or braised greens. It is a perfect counterpoint for deep winter vegetables; try stirring into butternut squash soup, or drizzle over roasted acorn squash with thyme and hazelnuts. We also love how honey vinegar intensifies and brightens the tart-sweet notes of sautéed apples. Or stir some into caramelized onions for an added sweet dimension.
Bottle is 50cl, not 25cl as pictured in photo.
- Net Volume: 500 ml (150 ml pictured)
- Ingredients: Honey, honey vinegar
- Place of Origin: France
Solana Pag Croatian Fleur de Sel
Traditional Croatian producer Solana Pag's fleur de sel comes from the Bay of Pag, which has been known for its salt production since ancient Roman times and even has a Designated Protection of Origin by the European Union. With a name that means “flower of salt,” this flaky, delicate sea salt has a crunchy texture and imparts bright bursts of clean salinity, followed by an almost sweet minerality. And because fleur de sel has a higher moisture content than other types of salt, the crystals stick to each other in flakes rather than immediately dissolving on your tongue, so you get bolder flavor with just a small amount.
Unlike with most sea salt—which is collected from the bottoms of salt basins or pans after seawater has evaporated—fleur de sel forms naturally over time as a delicate crust at the water's surface. Even minor changes in wind, humidity or sunshine can cause the salt to evaporate into the air, and it must be harvested by an expert hand—without disturbing the water's surface—or it will dissolve back into the seawater.
We consider coarse, flaky finishing salt an essential ingredient to add texture and a complex mineral-rich flavor. A few grains sprinkled over a steak, salad, roasted vegetables or simple bowl of rice adds crisp salinity and crunchy accent. We always keep a bowl on the table in lieu of a salt shaker, often pairing with our favorite garnishing pepper flakes, Aleppo or Urfa.
Use it to enhance our Herbed Egg Salad with Pickled Red Onion or to complement the rich sauce of our Pan-Roasted Asparagus with Herbed Brown Butter Vinaigrette and Walnuts. On the sweet side, delicate fleur de sel is an ideal counterpoint for rich chocolate desserts, such as our Salted Butter Caramel-Chocolate Mousse or Triple-Chocolate Almond Cookies. We also love its clean brightness on a Mixed Berry Crostata or our decadent Salted Peanut and Caramel Tart.
- Net Weight: 150 grams
- Store in a cool, dry place
- Place of Origin: Croatia
La Vecchia Dispensa Organic 6-year Aged Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP
La Vecchia Dispensa's Organic Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP has a full, well-rounded flavor and classic oak notes, with an initial burst of bright acidity followed by a rich sweetness similar to dried fruit. The Tintori and Pelloni families have been producing balsamic for four generations, originally only serving it at the small restaurant they opened in the 1970s. Their vinegar was so popular, however, that the family soon began selling it to customers. We love its rich, syrupy consistency and balance between acidic and sweet. This product has a Protected Geographic Indication by the European Union to recognize its authenticity.
Blend this balsamic vinegar into dressings or sauces, or drizzle over roasted meats and vegetables; we especially like to splash it on sliced tomatoes and greens. It’s also wonderful for balancing out the rich flavors in cheesy risottos or creamy pastas, as well as our Fig, Blue Cheese and Prosciutto Pizza. On the sweet side, drizzle over sliced strawberries, or make an Italian-style roasted pear dessert: Quarter and core pears, then brush liberally with melted butter and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Roast at 500°F until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic and serve with vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.
- Net Volume: 8.45 fluid ounces
- Ingredients: Organic grape must, organic wine vinegar. Contains sulphites.
- Place of Origin: Modena, Italy
Masseria Mirogallo Diavolicchi Hot Peppers in Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
It’s no secret that we love chilies at Milk Street, and the diavolicchi from Masseria Mirogallo are some of our favorites. Their name comes from the Italian word for devil because they are said to be hotter than hell, but they also have a bright flavor and sweet finish. Hand-selected and packed into jars with only wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil produced from the same farm on which the peppers were grown, diavolicchi's piquancy will define and sharpen a dish’s flavors. Use to cut through a starchy pasta dish, clarify a rich braise or stew or heighten sauces. And don’t throw out the oil! It’s terrific in vinaigrettes or used for sautéing vegetables, seafood and eggs.
- Net weight: 270 grams
- Ingredients: Hot peppers, extra-virgin olive oil, wine vinegar
- Place of Origin: Basilicata, Italy