The October Round-Up
I finally feel like I’m up and running on Substack after switching everything over from Ghost, and I’m very happy I made the change. I’m going to start exploring more of the cool features Substack has baked in— things like member-only Q&As, commenting, chat, and video.
I’m also planning a lot more paid members-only content. If you’re a paid member and have a specific request for something you’d like to learn, feel free to shoot me an email!
What I’m Cooking
For the past two months or so, I’ve been obsessed with all things bread. I got my first sourdough starter and have been experimenting with all kinds of naturally leavened breads. I’ve been focused a lot on pizza dough— that’s the first thing I’d really like to master— but I’ve also made pita bread, focaccia, and a bunch more.
My favorite experiments, though, have involved using sourdough to improve the digestibility of various breads— even ones that don’t need leavening. I made sourdough flour tortillas with beef tallow, and they were incredible.
My guide throughout this journey has been Chad Robertson’s excellent Bread Book. I working on an issue of the newsletter about getting started with sourdough, and I’ll share some of the many things I’ve learned from Chad. If you want to really level up your bread journey, I can’t recommend this book enough.
What I’m Reading
I recently picked up Salt by Mark Kurlansky. It’s a fascinating deep-dive into the history of the most important ingredient in cooking. I nerd out over all things food anthropology, so I’m really enjoying this one.
Pairs well with my salt guide, if I say so myself.
Last week I shared an updated version of my cookware guide. Check it out if you haven’t had a chance yet— I added some new items and updated all of the links.
Recently I’ve been thinking about a few things related to cookware. The first is knife sets. Most of them are designed to sell you a bunch of knives you don’t really need at inflated prices. And yet I see people buy them all the time. A great kitchen only really needs three knives— a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a bread knife. There are a few sets (Material, Hedley & Bennett) that include just those three, or you can buy them separately and still spend less money than you would on a big knife set. Check out the guide for more knife options that I love.
The second thing I take issue with is non-stick pans. They basically come in two categories— coated non-stick pans that are made with toxic chemicals, or “natural” non-stick pans that don’t really work well or last. My Caraway ceramic non-stick pan worked well for a few months, but now it’s about as non-stick as a stainless steel pan. The solution? Get a carbon steel pan and season it well. Soon enough it will be more non-stick than any "natural” alternative, and it will stay that way forever.
Finally, I’ve been thinking a lot about the aesthetics of cookware. It’s rare to find cookware that’s both beautiful and highly functional. But when I do it makes me very happy. I shared a thread of some beautiful pieces of cookware I’ve seen over the years.
MTCC Playlist #4
My buddy Canyon is back by popular demand with another playlist for your next cooking session or dinner party. This man doesn’t miss when it comes to curating musical vibes. Enjoy!
The Lost Supper
I recently found this guy on Twitter, and I absolutely love what he’s doing. He’s an author named Taras Grescoe, and his next book is all about ancient foodways, flavors, ingredients and cooking techniques. He’s sharing cool ideas and snippets on Twitter.
In this thread he shows how he made neolithic-style flatbreads, recreating the techniques, cooking styles, and ingredients that were available in the time period.
He also shared this cool article about discovering a legendary herb thought to have gone extinct 2,000 years ago.
Now I feel like I need to go make some ancient emmer wood-fired flatbreads.
I have a local vendor at my farmer’s market that sells grass-fed and finished Texas waguy. It’s some of the most delicious meat I’ve eaten.
Here’s a lineup of theirs— ribeye, Denver, flatiron, and oyster steak. Just beautiful.
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