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)
Shun Kitchen Shears
Every cook has at least one kitchen tool that drives them crazy—my particular annoyance is poultry shears. Most designs are too lightweight, so much so that cutting through a chicken is a never-to-be-repeated task. The handles feel like they were designed to cause pain, not comfort, the metal is not heavy-duty enough and the length of the cutting edge is too long in proportion to the whole design. Finally, I can sleep at night! The KAI shears are amazing.
These shears have a heavy-duty build and comfortable rubber-edged handles, so they are a pleasure to use—I can spatchcock a chicken in mere seconds and don’t feel as if I just had my hand put through the wringer! The 3.5-inch cutting edge is relatively short compared to the weight and length of the rest of the scissors, which means you can exert a lot of force without a lot of effort (much like having a long, heavy crowbar to turn over a rock). And they easily come apart for cleaning but will not fall apart during use, unlike some models. Hands down, this is my favorite pair of poultry shears. Once you start spatchcocking (butterflying) chicken, you will always roast or grill them this way. It means even cooking without having to turn the bird to even out the white and dark meats. I roast a spatchcocked chicken almost every Sunday for use during the week. Just rub kosher salt and a spice blend on top and you are good to go. You can also use these shears for cutting up a chicken or trimming off fat or bones.
- Dimensions: Total Length: 9 inches | Blade Length: 4.5 inches
- Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Materials: High-carbon stainless steel, elastomer handles
VejiBag Reusable Storage Bags - Set of 3
More durable and eco-friendly than plastic bags, these French terry bags are designed to prolong the life of stored produce. The fabric holds just enough moisture to maintain an ideal humidity for leafy greens, carrots, green beans—you name it. Simply wet the bag and wring out all the extra moisture before storage. They’ll last for years, and you’ll discard less wilted produce. Vejibag founder Sally Erickson came up with the idea for her product in 2013, with the goal of providing fresh produce to customers from her own greenhouse in Maine. The company sources only American-grown organic cotton that is never treated with dyes or chemicals, and the bags are sewn at a worker-owned facility in North Carolina, for a transparent and eco-conscious production process from start to finish.
- Dimensions: Standard: 11 x 12 inches | Large: 11 x 17 inches | Extra Large: 14 x 17 inches
- Materials: Organic cotton
- Care: Machine-washable. Air-dry or tumble-dry low.
Huilerie Beaujolaise Calamansi Vinegar
We absolutely love this small-batch vinegar from French artisanal producer Huilerie Beaujolaise. Ubiquitous to Filipino cuisine, calamansi is a citrus hybrid between kumquat and mandarin orange. With a bright and tangy vibrancy akin to tangerine, this vinegar almost tastes like a shrub, or drinking vinegar. It is fabulous in salad dressing—both olive-oil vinaigrettes and mayonnaise-based sauces—especially with arugula and hazelnuts, or over a thinly sliced cabbage slaw with sugar snap peas. You can also add it to plain Greek yogurt with a handful of fresh herbs and chili flakes for a crudité dip or sandwich spread. We also like calamansi vinegar's tart brightness whisked with sautéed shallots, butter and fresh thyme leaves as a quick pan sauce for shrimp, salmon or scallops. Or drizzle over roasted vegetables for accent—this vinegar is a great alternative to small amounts of lemon juice.
On the sweet side, try it also a great way to tone down sweetness in desserts. Add a teaspoon or two to caramel sauce to drizzle over ice cream; it's particularly good with vanilla, cinnamon or ginger ice cream. Or try adding a little to any citrus-flavored pound cake, Bundt cake or bar cookie for complexity.
- Net Volume: 250 milliliters or 500 milliliters
- Ingredients: Calamansi juice, spirit vinegar, cane sugar
- Certifications: Kosher
- Place of Origin: France
Opinel No. 8 Stainless Steel Pocket Knife
The folding knife is Opinel's bread and butter, and the flagship No. 8 size has been produced virtually unchanged since 1890. Its 3.25-inch blade is made of high-grade Swedish Sandvik steel that holds an edge well, tunes up easily on any sharpening device and is thin enough to slice beautifully through delicate foods. We especially love the French company's ingenious “virobloc” collar-style lock, which firmly holds the blade in place by twisting sideways—it's far easier to use than most any other locking-blade knife and basically removes any risk of the blade folding onto exposed fingers. And the contoured wood handle nestles perfectly into the palm for firm control, making it a terrific choice for close hand work, like peeling garlic cloves or slicing apples. You'll want to use this knife everywhere, whether it's for breaking down boxes, cutting herb and flower stems or for all of your slicing needs on a camping trip.
- Dimensions: Total: 7.5 inches | Blade: 3.25 inches
- Material: Blade: 12C27 Sandvik stainless steel | Handle: Beech wood
- Place of Origin: France
Opinel Slim No.10 Olive Wood Handle Folding Knife
Originally designed for filleting fish, this slender knife from French company Opinel makes quick work of any general task. The 10-centimeter blade—just shy of 4 inches—is large enough to cut loaves of bread, slice fruit and do anything else a picnic, beach trip or BBQ can throw at it. It’s as good for trimming twine or opening packages as it is as carving paper-thin slices of sausage or sawing through a tough baguette. We especially love Opinel's ingenious “virobloc” collar-style lock, which firmly holds the blade in place by twisting sideways—it's far easier to use than most any other locking-blade knife and basically removes any risk of the blade folding onto exposed fingers. The Swedish Sandvik steel used for the blade is durable, impervious to corrosion and holds an edge for eternity, while the ergonomic olive wood handle feels great in the hand and develops a beautiful patina over time.
- Dimensions: Total: 9 inches | Blade: 4 inches
- Material: Blade: 12C27 Sandvik stainless steel | Handle: Olive wood
Il Colle Del Gusto Sicilian Pistachio Spread
For those who thought the Italians couldn’t top themselves after Nutella, we have good news. We recently discovered—and became obsessed with—Pistacchiosa, a sweet pistachio paste from Il Colle Del Gusto that renders other sweet spreads and nut butters second best. Made from Sicilian pistachios and extra-virgin olive oil, Pistacchiosa is a creamy, aromatic spread you will want to put on all your desserts and, yes, eat straight out of the jar.
The marriage of pistachio and olive oil came about via a different union, between Antonio Della Corte and Annamaria Conti. He worked in gelato and pastry shops creating sweet mixes; she ran a farm and bed-and-breakfast and loved to make her own olive oil. The rest is history. They started their company, Il Colle Del Gusto, and sold a line of spreads at farmers markets around Rome, among them Pistacchiosa.
We love to pair this intensely rich pistachio butter with fruity flavors: raspberry or strawberry jam and marmalade or a handful of chopped dried cherries or apricots. Ribbon a layer through your favorite pound cake, or smear across warm hearty whole-grain toast sprinkled with coarse salt or crumbled fresh goat cheese and a drizzle of honey. We also like to fold Pistacchiosa into a batch of ice cream or gelato and serve with grated bittersweet chocolate. Add a thin veneer to sandwich cookies such as our Citrus-Plum Linzer Cookies —the possibilities are endless, if you can keep from eating Pistacchiosa straight off the spoon.
- Net Weight: 250 grams
- Ingredients: Sicilian pistachios, sugar, extra-virgin olive oil, rice flour, sunflower lecithin as emulsifier
- Allergens: Contains pistachios and traces of other nuts, including peanuts. May contain traces of soy.
- Place of Origin: Italy
Christopher Kimball for Kuhn Rikon Traverse Power Whisk
Our Traverse Power Whisk has a revolutionary flat, coiled design, which works faster than a balloon whisk to whip up egg whites or heavy cream. It has more concentrated tines, which are in constant contact with liquid to incorporate more air. Also, it will reach all the way to the edges of your saucepans and containers, unlike that awkward balloon whisk. Use it back and forth, not in a circular fashion, and see how much time and energy you will save on whisking. The traverse whisk is also versatile enough to emulsify pan sauces or blend batters—it’s the only whisk you’ll need. Try it in our Tangy Maple Whipped Cream.
- Dimensions: 10.5 inches
- Material: stainless steel
- Care: Dishwasher-safe
Il Colle Del Gusto Hazelnut Spread with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Il Colle del Gusto's hazelnut spreads are lighter, glossier and more aromatic versions of Nutella. With a high hazelnut content of up to 42%, they are made using local, high-quality roasted nuts from Italy, which have a toasty, buttery flavor, light sweetness and earthy depth. Organic extra-virgin olive oil from the Sabine Hills northeast of Rome lends a lustrous, glossy sheen and has a cleaner taste than the heavy palm oil that other brands use; it also gives the dessert pastes a luscious consistency that is far superior to cloying Nutella. They don't taste noticeably of olive oil, either; rather, the fruity notes enhance those same qualities in the chocolate, and the spread is rounded out with floral-scented vanilla. Choose between smooth Noccioliva or crunchy Granellona Brut, which has chopped hazelnut pieces but is still silky and spreadable.
Use these chocolate and hazelnut spreads as a wonderful addition to most any dessert. The olive oil in Il Colle Del Gusto’s product makes it especially easy to incorporate into pastry cream, ice cream or any custard base. We also swirl it into cheesecakes, brownies and quick breads. Or whisk together with an equal amount of hot cream for fondue and serve with sliced pears, strawberries and crunchy cookies like our Catalan Biscotti. For more nutty richness, try ½ cup chocolate and hazelnut spread in place of the bittersweet chocolate in our Chocolate-Hazelnut Crostata. We also love this aromatic flavor combination for breakfast. Spread it on a crepe as the French do, or slather on toast, pancakes or waffles and top with fresh sliced fruit. Blend with Greek yogurt, bananas, ice and your milk of choice for easy breakfast smoothies. Or swirl some into your breakfast oatmeal, especially nutty steel-cut oats.
- Net Weight: 250 grams
- Ingredients: Hazelnuts, sugar, extra-virgin olive oil, rice flour, cocoa, vanilla, sunflower lecithin (as emulsifier)
- Allergens: Gluten- and dairy-free
- Place of Origin: Italy