Milk Street: Sofrito
We created our sofrito to be the perfect building block to cook a wide variety of recipes in less time, based on the tradition of Italian and Spanish grandmothers who make this by the jar to simplify cooking and boost flavor. After much testing, we came up with an aromatic base of sautéed onions, carrots and celery, complemented by the bright tones of tomatoes, white wine and vinegar. For additional depth, it has earthy, umami notes from mushroom powder, aromatic notes of rosemary and thyme, and just a hint of heat from black pepper and Kashmiri chili powder. A few tablespoons of this jammy sofrito is all it takes to spread rich, concentrated power into soups, sauces, stews, braises and nearly anything else that needs a boost of big flavor.
Milk Street: Garlic Confit
The worst recipe ingredient is, “4 cloves garlic, minced.” You know that it is going to be hard to do, it will make a mess, and you will end up with garlic all over your cutting board and knife. Jarred supermarket garlics are, well, awful! They often taste bitter and harsh or lack flavor altogether. Our solution to this problem is to create a garlic confit—mellow but full-flavored and enhanced with a few nice touches, including bay leaves, Aleppo pepper, ghee, olive oil and a hint of lemon. You will never have to mince garlic again!
Hanamaruki Foods: Liquid Shio Koji
A traditional condiment made from fermented malted rice, shio koji is known in Japan for packing a punch of umami into everything from marinated meats to savory soups. All shio kojis aren’t created equal, though, for Hanamaruki Foods distills the powerful flavor properties of this essential Japanese ingredient into an easy-to-use liquid form—the only Liquid Shio Koji available on the market—to create the ultimate pantry secret weapon. We love the condiment’s clean, yet bold flavor: salty rounded out with a pronounced sweetness and burst of umami. It’s made by pressing shio koji in its original paste form and filtering until it yields the clear, golden-hued liquid. The product isn’t heat-treated, so its enzymes remain active and effective in rendering meat remarkably moist and juicy, balancing bitterness in veggies like eggplant and adding amino acids for a full-flavored finish to any dish to truly change the way you cook. Use as a marinade for meats and fish, drizzle into salad dressings and sauces to balance savory flavors, or incorporate into baked goods to add a layer of tantalizing complexity.