Parchment Roasted Pork Loin with Milk Pail Peaches & Peach Salsa

Estia's Braised pork loin with Milk Pail peaches

Serves 8


  • 6 lb pork loin (with a fat cap)
  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 6 garlic cloves chopped
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper corn
  • 1 – 2 gallon zip lock bag

Cut pork loin into two pieces. Combine the above ingredients into the zip lock bag. Set in brine for 4-5 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lay a large piece of heavy duty foil on a sheet pan then top with 2 large pieces of parchment.

Estia's brined pork for roasting with peaches
Estia’s brined pork for roasting with peaches
Brined pork on peaches and parchment
Brined pork on peaches and parchment
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Coq au Vin with mashed potatoes for Jessica’s birthday party

In October I visited the Hiawatha National Forest in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and spent a weekend at The Milkweed Inn, a unique bed & dinner run by Iliana Reagan and her wife Anna. At breakfast on Sunday morning, Iliana gave me an advance copy of her new book “Fieldwork”. As Iliana shares the story of growing up in her parents home on a farm in central Indiana, tales of her Grandmothers restaurant and the recipes she was raised on shine through. 

I was inspired by several references to a duck soup, Czarnina. The idea of using duck blood to thicken a stock made an impression on me and I applied the technique in this dish.

Last night we celebrated my wife Jessica’s 63rd birthday. All 3 of our daughters were home, along with 50 close friends. Special occasions require extra effort. Coq au Vin was the answer.

Estia's Coq au vin recipe ingredients card
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Chicken Stuffed Pumpkin Paella

Pumpkin Paella stuffed with Chicken and veggies

Sunset Place, Nashville, Tennessee
October 24, 2021
Dinner with Mansell & the Beveridge family 

Henry’s sister Glory was married at noon yesterday. It was a first class southern family celebration. Proud father, gorgeous bride, beaming groom, 16 bridesmaids, of which Mansell was one, and a parade of groomsmen. The reception featured deviled eggs, fried chicken and waffles and a glorious white almond wedding cake (I had 2 pieces).

This morning we attended a brunch at Henry’s family home, his parents Mark & Nancy Beveridge hosted family and friends from out of town. I enjoyed hot coffee, mini quiches, mini biscuits with ham and cheesy grits. Each room in the Beveridge home tells a story, new and old.
We felt comfortable, everyone was friendly and happy, proud to share stories about Mansell and the light she shares with them.

Tonight was our turn to host the Beveridge’s at Henry and Mansell’s house. This dish took center stage on the service table. I was concerned that the rice might not cook through, but it did. While still firm and a bit nutty it cooked through. 

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Flame Braised Goat | Chivo Tacos with Colorado Sauce

Chivo Taco

Ingredients and preparation:

  • 1 30lb goat, butcher into large pieces, legs, ribs, back portions, bones in.

Season heavily with salt & black pepper and sear over high heat 10 min per side

Combine in a 50 gallon pot:

  • 4 Spanish onions, chopped
  • 1 head of celery, chopped
  • 2 cups garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 limes, peeled and cut in half
  • 12 arbol chili’s
  • 18 guajillo chili’s, chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 6 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 cup Mexican oregano (dry)

Stir on stove top over medium heat until soft. Add all seared goat & move pot to the fire.

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Boneless Beef Short Ribs

Boneless Beef Short Ribs

Sunday night dinner with all 3 of the A. sisters home. That is a special night. We had planned on dining out at the Main Street Tavern in Amagansett, 177 Main Street. This is a special address for my family as we spent 16 years in that space running it as a coffee shop and restaurant. It would be safe to say that our family was born out of this coffee shop which started in that address in 1981. It was commonly known as Estia.

Jessica and I purchased the lease for Estia in 1991 and maintained a business there until 2007. Since selling the lease, 3 different operators have worked the space. Presently Main Street Tavern which has been open since the spring. Challenged by the Covid pandemic it’s been a struggle for them and I’ve chosen to wait to visit. Tonight’s reservation was canceled, apparently they have plumbing issues. Chalk it up to growing pains. Operating a restaurant in Amagansett is not easy in any business climate. We can wait.

With tonight’s plan for dining out off the table, I volunteered to cook (my daughters are all good cooks now) and I decided to let a walk through Citarella steer my menu. As I looked in the butcher case, braised short ribs were the easy choice, 3 1lb boneless short ribs to be exact.

Boneless Beef Short Ribs
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Cornbread Crusted Chicken Pot Pie

Colin Ambrose is serving his cornbread crusted chicken pot pie, cooked and enjoyed by the Teton River

cooked over open fire by the Teton River, Driggs, Idaho

Serves 6

This is one of the most satisfying open fire meals I can think of. Chicken pot pie is a complete campfire dish with vegetables, protein, starch and dairy. All you need besides a plan and ingredients is a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven with a lid and a spoon.

On this trip we bought a wooden spoon, which split in half as I opened the skillet that has a tendency to seal lid to base while cooking. But as you will see if you watch the video, it all worked out.

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Ramshackle Ranch Salad

Ramshackle Ranch Salad

It’s been years since a good, simple ranch dressing has graced the menu at Estia’s Little Kitchen. Inspired by Julia Moskin’s article “Ranch Nation” (Sept. 2018 NY Times) I put this recipe into play. The dressing is not original ranch style in that it doesn’t contain mayo. Instead, yogurt and red wine vinegar have been added, along with egg yolks to tighten it up.

For years my dinner menu has featured a Crisp California Chicken, finished with agave/chili sauce which has been made to order. Fingers crossed that this new salad finds an audience. The agave/chili sauce will now be prepped in advance and used on both dishes. I think it goes as close as our kitchen will to a simple, light buffalo chicken wing sauce. With that in mind, the salad is finished with just enough blue cheese to counter point the sweetness that the agave lends to the salad. Read More »

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Asado Birthday Party

Asado birthday party in Estia's garden using new outdoor setup

Half the crowd and twice as much fun. That’s the idea when it comes to garden entertaining at Estia’s Little Kitchen. Earlier this summer—with a simple request of good tequila and plenty of food—we shared our garden space with Nick Silvers as he set out to celebrate his wife Erin’s Birthday. Read More »

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Chili Chicken Rellenos at Estia's Little Kitchen

Serves 4


  • 1 3.5 lb chicken, roast, remove all meat in advance
  • 4 poblano peppers, medium size
  • 2 x large eggs
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 small Spanish onions, diced fine
  • 3 tablespoons chipotle with adobo
  • 1 cup shredded jack cheese
  • 2 cups queso fresco, cubed
  • Salt & pepper
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 12 oz Lange Pinot Gris
  • 2 tablespoons saffron
  • 36 oz chicken stock

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Blackened Buffalo Medallions cooked over open fire at the Lakeside Lodge in Idaho

Adapted from chef Jacob Dibble’s recipe
Lakeside Lodge, Island Park, Idaho
Serves 4

This dish is made with the trim and or chain from bison tenderloin. The chain is a long thin strand of meat running from the head of the tenderloin down the side. It includes a fair amount of connective tissue that should be cut away. The whole loin includes 4 to 6 prime center cut filets that will weigh 6 to 8 ounces each after butchering. In addition to the prime filet cuts there will be trim to be used for side dishes, pasta, salads etc. This recipe is intended to make use of the additional trim meat and end pieces, including the chain, after butchering.

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Stuffed Buffalo Tenderloin | Cooking over fire at the Lakeside Lodge in Island Park, Idaho

Adapted from chef Jacob Dibble’s recipe
Lakeside Lodge, Island Park, Idaho

This dish can be served to 4 people as a main, single course. It can also be used with other smaller courses and be cut in half to serve 8 or more as a supporting dish.


  • 4 Bison tenderloin (filets) 6-8 oz each
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon of cracked black pepper

Toss cleaned filets in a bowl with the salt, pepper and oil, set aside. Read More »

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Musky Country Salad

Musky Country Salad with bratwurst

Serves 4 hungry eaters


For the Bratwurst:

  • 8 Bratwurst
  • 12 small red potatoes, golfball size
  • 2  12 oz cans Scotch lager or Amber beer
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ bunches spring onions or scallions
  • 4 pretzel buns (optional)

For the salad:

  • 1 lb. small snap peas
  • ½ lb. English shell peas
  • 1 ½ bunch spring onions or scallions
  • 1 – 12 oz. jar mild Kimchi (available in Korean specialty stores)
  • 1 cup pickled beets , sliced and cut in half

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Chili Rellenos

Chili Rellenos by the Au Sable River

We cooked this recipe alongside the Au Sable river in Michigan | Read about the adventure on American Rivers Tour 2017!

Inspired by chef Matt Haley, Gates Au Sable Lodge, Grayling, Michigan.

Serves 4


  • 8 poblano peppers
  • 1 pound fresh chorizo, cooked and drained
  • 12 oz Mexican melting cheese, (shredded Cotija or Monterey Jack)
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs

Roast peppers over open flame until skin is charred and blistering. Rest in paper bag or bowl covered in plastic until cool enough to handle. Chop or crumble chorizo into thumbnail sized pieces and combine with remaining ingredients. Read More »

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Lamb Taquitos

Lamb Taquitos Estia's style

This is a great do­ahead party dish appetizer that can be prepared long in advance and quickly cooked and assembled day of.

Makes 40 finger food hors d’oeuvres.

For the lamb filling:

  • 3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Spanish onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fennel seed
  • 2 chopped Mexican dried Guajillo chilis, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 cups chopped canned plum tomatoes
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 small bunch thyme

For the taquitos:

  • 20 six inch soft corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 package sweet pea sprouts
  • Reserved shredded lamb
  • 2 cups Mexican slaw (recipe below)

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Braised Lamb & Spring Vegetable “Hobo Skillet”

Braised Lamb and vegetables "Hobo Skillet"

This is a recipe we cooked near the Chagrin River in Ohio | Read the full story about this fishing adventure on American Rivers Tour 2017.

Inspired by a dish from chef  Tim Bando of the Grove Hill Restaurant, Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Serves 4

This one skillet dinner involves a day before preparation of the ingredients so it is an easy assemble and cook after a long day outside.

For the Lamb:

  • 3 lb boneless lamb shoulder
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ vegetable or olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Spanish onions, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seed
  • 2 cups chopped canned plum tomatoes
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 small bunch thyme

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Paella Dish

This recipe serves 18


  • 2 lb chicken sausage (diced)
  • 1 lb Andouille sausage (diced)
  • 1 quart jasmine rice
  • 1 quart mirepoix (diced carrots, celery and onion)
  • 8 oz Sofrito (finely diced red and green pepper, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro and olive oil)
  • 750 ml white wine mixed with clam sauce (50:50) and one tablespoon of saffron threads (allow to set for one hour before using)
  • 16 oz can whole peeled tomatoes (juice removed, roughly chopped)
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Sea salt and ground pepper to your liking

  • 3 cull (2+ pound) lobsters (steamed and removed from shell)
  • 2 lb scallops (10/20 size) cleaned and lightly seared
  • 4 lb fresh fish (skin and bones removed, cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 3 dozen little neck clams (rinsed and lightly scrubbed in cold water)
  • 2 cups snap peas (chopping into pieces) of fresh shucking peas
  • 1 cup cleaned and chopped fresh oregano, parsley and mint – mixed
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Farm Yard Pork Loin “Roli Roti Style” – A proven dish for a big Food Lab crowd

Food Lab Founder Geoffry Drummond and Chef Colin Ambrose with Roli Roti

Serves 20


1 full pork loin, belly on
2 bunches parsley
1/2 bunch mint
1/2 bunch thyme
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 bunch oregano
10 garlic cloves (chopped fine)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large lemons (zest only)
3 tablespoons salt

At the “Little Kitchen” from time to time the special menu features our “Roli Roti Style” pork loin stuffed with herbs from our garden (oregano, parsley, thyme, mint and cilantro) mixed with garlic and lemon zest.

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Pork Stew “Chilatole” – Another proven dish for a big Food Lab crowd

Ingredients – this recipe serves 6:

4lb pork (picnic butt or shoulder butt)
2 tomatillo
1 cup chopped onions
10 jalapeno peppers
3 zucchini (chopped)
4 garlic cloves
4 corn cobs (kernels only)
6 bay leaves
1.5 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3 corn tortillas
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

– bone the pork primals (ham, shoulder butt and picnic butt)
– cut each piece into 4 smaller portions
– place in 3 hotel pans (3 inch deep roasting pans) and in a 375ºF oven (wrapped in foil) for 3 hours
– place bones in a large pot over medium heat and mix with mirpoix (onions, celery and carrots chopped rough)
– stir until the vegetables are soft and then cover with water
– stock was simmered for as long as the pork roasted Read More »

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