During this transitional time of year, as I wait for spring in New York to arrive in full force, I find myself looking ahead to summer. I’m envisioning leisurely backyard hangs and dinner parties that extend well into warm evenings, with all of that season’s bounty. And after reading Eater’s latest spotlight on an international cooking tool, the Portuguese cataplana is now a part of those fantasies.
The word refers to both the dish, a kind of seafood and pork stew, as well as the copper clamshell in which it’s slow-cooked over an open flame. Cataplanas have a long history; hunters used them as proto-pressure cookers to prepare meals they could eat when they returned from the hunt. But these days it could become the dazzling centerpiece of a summer cookout or even the most impressive camping meal. Rafael Tonon advises, “Don’t underestimate the sensory impact of unlatching the clasps and popping the lid when dinner is ready. In this case the medium really is the message, transporting eaters on waves of crustacean-scented steam to the sun and sand of coastal Portugal.” Sounds nice. I advise you to buy one, and then invite me over.
The new Pampshade lamp, Hetty McKinnon's Food for Everyone Poster, and the cast iron Always Pan.
You don’t have to create elaborate bento box lunches to appreciate the fun of radishes, carrots, and even butter that’s shaped like stars, hearts, bears, and more. Bettina Makalintal says these vegetable cutters not only make food cuter, but add an element of mindfulness as she makes simple meals.
Yukiko Morita, the former baker behind the Pampshade bread lamps, is making a new limited-edition style in light of the war in Ukraine. The Paska LED light is modeled after a traditional eastern and central European Easter bread, and profits will be donated to Peace Winds Japan.
One of the best Christmas gifts I received this year was a Sfoglini subscription, and the pasta brand just restocked its cascatelli gift set to ship in time for Mother’s Day. It includes four boxes of the cascatelli by Sporkful pasta, plus a dish towel and recipe booklet.
Our Place launched a cast-iron version of its popular Always Pan this week. All six of the enamel shades are already sold out, but you can sign up to be notified of when it’s back in stock. It comes with a few cast-iron accessories too (a wooden spatula so you don’t damage the pan, silicone handles so you don’t damage yourself), making it a particularly nice starter set for someone new to cast iron cooking.
Food for Everyone is an Australian poster shop that donates half of profits to Australian food banks. Founder Gemma Leslie recently collaborated with cookbook author Hetty McKinnon on a poster depicting the recipe for McKinnon’s wontons and noodles in ginger-turmeric broth. The ingredients and cooking method are incorporated into the poster design, but it’s also well worth buying McKinnon’s latest To Asia, With Love, for that recipe and a host of others.
Thanks for reading. If you liked this email, please forward it to a friend. — Monica
If you aren’t subscribed to this newsletter,
you can sign up right here.
If you buy something from an Eater link,
Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.