Rancho Gordo Dried Raquel Beans
It’s no secret that we love our legumes here at Milk Street, so we were thrilled when Rancho Gordo offered us the exclusive opportunity to carry the Raquel bean, an heirloom variety from the Southwest that you can't buy anywhere else. The Raquel's striking white and brown Palomino coloring looks similar to Maine’s famous Steuben Yellow-Eye beans, and it's especially thin-skinned and has enough starch content that when rehydrated, the beans are soft and tender; we also like their pleasantly nutty and earthy flavor. To ensure the best flavor and texture, we strongly suggest soaking the beans overnight in 8 cups of water seasoned with 2 tablespoons kosher salt, which will help tenderize the skins and ensure the creamiest texture.
Romín Casero Morita Chili Powder
Hotter and deeper-tasting than smoked hot paprika, Romín Casero Morita Chili Powder is a great option to have on hand in your pantry for adding smoky-sweet flavor. Morita chilies are a type of chipotle pepper, made from jalapeños that have fully ripened before being smoked and dried. Because the peppers are red, ripe and sweeter than other smoked chilies, the powder has an especially pronounced fruity-sweet aroma that we love, which is rounded out with pungent garlic and a touch of salt. Morita chilies pack a ton of flavor in each chili pepper, and in this powdered form you can conveniently adjust your level of spice as you like. Use this Morita Chili Powder to add bold flavor to all manner of Latin foods. Or use in conjunction with conventional chili powder for easy extra flavor for your chili or quick refried beans. Swap out 3 to 4 teaspoons for the canned chipotles in our quick Refried Beans, or add some to the marinade of our Grilled Tacos al Pastor for extra dimensions of heat. We also like to blend with kosher salt, ground coriander, black pepper and brown sugar to use as a rub on chicken, pork or even steaks before roasting or grilling. For a sweet and salty combination, try blending into melted butter with a touch of sugar and drizzle over salted popcorn.
Milk Street Mexican Mocha Coffee Sugar
In our custom Mocha Mexican Coffee Sugar, earthy, aromatic cinnamon defines the chocolate’s flavor, coaxing out its fruitiness and tempering the bitterness without excessive sweetness. We use chipotle chili powder for its smoky depth, which pairs well with the spicy cinnamon and adds a subtle touch of heat.
Sal de Gusano Worm Salt
I had this salt, sal de gusano, in Teuchitlán, Mexico, and fell in love with it immediately, even when I was told that is it made, in part, with dried worms. Oaxacan cooks put protein-rich, nutty-tasting roasted chapulines (grasshoppers) and maguey worms into all manner of moles, tacos, tlayudas and guisados. This Oaxacan-made salt may sound like a novelty (like the worm at the bottom of rotgut tequila), but it’s a wonderful all-purpose seasoning. The ground worms add earthiness and savoriness—an umami punch that’s excellent. Piquin and árbol chili powders round out the salt with a bright, slightly smoky heat that can enhance beans, fish, chicken—or your next margarita or shot of mezcal. (The worms are actually larvae that live in the agave plant, which are used to make tequila and mezcal. The sal de gusano I had was served with a slice of lime—dip the lime into the salt and then take a shot of mezcal.)
Iodized salt, Piquin chili powder, Arbol chili powder, maguey worms (Hypopta agavis), lime juice Allergens: If you're allergic to shrimp and crustacean shellfish you may also be allergic to worms and should not consume them. This product was produced in a facility that also processes nuts.
Net Weight: 2.3 ounces Place of Origin: Oaxaca Valley, Mexico
Verve Culture Molcajete
Here at Milk Street, we love crushing spices or herbs by hand to create more variation in texture and extract more flavor, and a mortar and pestle allow us to blend them more precisely. The molcajete is a traditional Mexican variation of a mortar and pestle for grinding dried chilies to use in salsas or for making perfect guacamole. It has a shallower, wider bowl than a typical mortar—about 6 inches in diameter—which helps for closer control and more surface area to break down tough textures, like the skins of guajillo or ancho chilies. Plus, the molcajete is made of coarse and incredibly durable volcanic stone that creates plenty of natural friction. Its accompanying pestle is called a tejolote; at 3 inches long, it's perfectly proportional to the shallow bowl of the molcajete. Our food editor, Matt Card, says this tool is worth owning for guacamole if nothing else—the texture it yields is the ideal balance of creamy and chunky. Try our recipe for Central Mexican Guacamole, picked up from Mexican cooking doyenne Diana Kennedy. Each molcajete comes in a one-of-a-kind, hand-woven and vibrantly colored basket made from palm leaves. It's meant to hold tortillas and has a lid to keep them warm, but we also like to use the basket to keep fruits and vegetables on the counter, such as tomatoes, onions or avocados for the guacamole you'll be making. It even makes an attractive container to store kitchen clutter—loose change, receipts and the like.
Casa Amarosa Tortilla Warmer
When serving tortillas, naan or pita breads with our sauces, we often make the flatbreads in batches ahead of time. In countries like Mexico, an insulated sleeve like this is essential for keeping tortillas hot for the duration of a meal or party. We love the festive colorful pattern on this neat product, which is handy for keeping all manner of flatbreads warm and retaining moisture for over an hour—we far prefer it to using a makeshift dish towel. Use the tortilla warmer as an attractive serving vessel for our Italian Piadina flatbreads or Middle Eastern Pita Bread in addition to tortillas.
Bazar Mexican Mocha Coffee Sugar
Our Mexican Mocha Coffee Sugar plays on the Oaxacan tradition of adding cinnamon and chili to freshly ground cacao beans for hot chocolate. In this custom blend, earthy, aromatic cinnamon defines the chocolate’s flavor, coaxing out its fruitiness and tempering the bitterness without excessive sweetness. We use chipotle chili powder for its smoky depth, which pairs well with the spicy cinnamon and adds a subtle touch of heat. Use Mexican Mocha Coffee Sugar in your morning cup of coffee or to ramp up hot cocoa. We love its balanced yet bold flavor on all manner of breakfast foods: Sprinkle it over oatmeal with some sliced bananas and walnuts, or dust a little on pancakes or cinnamon rolls. Our director of digital content, Evan Petto, loves a light dusting of this coffee sugar on hot buttered toast. For desserts, add a spicy element atop brownies, or use the sugar to make a flavored whipped cream. We often sprinkle some Mexican Mocha Coffee Sugar on vanilla ice cream or rice pudding, for a twist on arroz con leche. There are few sweets that can't benefit from this perfect trinity of chocolate, chili and cinnamon.