Pickled Vegetables

After a full day of working in my garden, I needed to make this salad.  It had to be big enough to serve the Simonds’ kids for dinner and my kids for lunch the next day.  It was hot, and the idea of a cold salad with vegetables (just soft enough to bring out the extra flavor and color, but served cold) had me thinking all day. Read More »

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Old Stove Salad

In 2008, I was asked to manage a rejuvenation at The Old Stove Pub.  The Sagaponack, New York steakhouse had been shuttered for five years.  My partner, Brian Murray, and I brought it back to its exact specifications for two summers. That meant serving 30-oz, bone-in steaks from the ancient broilers in the tiny kitchen at the back of the original Sagaponack farmhouse on Montauk Highway. It also meant serving an authentic Greek style salad with tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumbers, onions and olives (no lettuce). Read More »

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Paella with Lobster

When Jessica informed me, “We will have 18 for dinner tomorrow night,” my mind automatically went to Paella. The first phone call was placed to Mrs. Iacono for two pounds of her Spicy Chicken Sausage. Then I called the Seafood Shoppe in Wainscot for four pounds of cod, two pounds of sea scallops, three cull lobsters and three-dozen littleneck clams. Just prior to leaving the restaurant, I organized a box of dry goods, a quart of jasmine rice, a quart of mirepoix, a wine bottle full of saffron infused wine and clam juice, one coffee cup filled with Sofrito, one 16-ounce can of “Muir Glen” whole peeled tomato and two quarts of chicken stock.  I grabbed a pound of North Country Andouille sausage for extra flavor. Read More »

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B.L.T. Burgers (with Striped Bass)

The Striped Bass special sold well last week.  Sales were strong enough to require Auggie, my sous chef at Estia’s American in Darien, to order extra bass.  In the end, we had three portions left.  That is not enough to post a special, but certainly enough to work with the title “Striped Bass.”  The B.L.T. burger incorporates all of the extra bass, flounder and shrimp. Read More »

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Last week, one of our Connecticut liquor distributors offered a special on Herradura Tequila Blanco, a premium tequila made from 100% agave.  I purchased a case.
In order to showcase the tequila in an authentic presentation, we decided to pair it with Sangrita.  Sangrita is a sweet and spicy chaser that is served in a glass with a salted rim.  The Sangrita was placed on a plate next to the shot of Herradura Tequila Blanco with a wedge of lime on the side. Read More »

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Quattro’s Pheasant Egg Salad with Balsamic Cipollini Onions

There is a wonderful Italian style butcher shop called Quattro’s.  It is on Route 44, just west of the Taconic Parkway in Pleasant Valley, New York.  I stopped by there last weekend on my way to my daughter Mansell’s high school graduation in Millbrook, New York.  I had heard about the stop from the school’s headmaster, Drew Casertano, and was intrigued to visit. It pays to follow the headmaster’s suggestions in many areas.  Quattro’s is extraordinary. Read More »

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Once in a while, we get a customer who orders granola. It is best if we have fresh product so I like to make it once every two weeks. In order to use it all during those weeks, we will also feature a granola/banana pancake “fit” breakfast this weekend as a special. Read More »

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Cheesy Black Bean Burger

Jessica and I visited my Mother in Virginia this weekend. On the way home, we stopped for lunch in Fredericksburg, Virginia. We ate at a place called Foode – a hot, little spot located at the end of an alley. This burger caught my eye. I brought one home to share with Auggie, my sous chef in Darien. The burger never made it to Estia’s but my memory stands to reinvent the recipe. Read More »

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Little Chicken Albondigas

On Sunday afternoon, I traveled to the North Fork of Long Island where I participated in an event at the Kontokosta winery. Slow Food sponsored the event in honor of a great local chef, my friend Gerry Hayden. There were 300 guests, the weather was perfect and Gerry was happy. Read More »

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Fancy Turkey Meatballs

Yesterday, my daughter Mansell sent me a note suggesting I try a “Healthy Choice” with turkey meatballs and roasted spaghetti squash. This recipe came together as I left the Little Kitchen In Sag Harbor after lunch today. Read More »

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Organic Roasted Tomato Soup

The snowflakes falling outside my window are the size of espresso saucers. It’s been like that since 7a.m. We still have managed a few tables every hour. My latest customer ordered “Lances Trance” which is a grilled chicken breast on toasted 8-grain bread with sweet corn, avocado and melted jack cheese. The patron, a regular named Todd Silvera, likes his sandwich with no cheese and I forgot. So this one will be my lunch. And I remade one for Todd. Read More »

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Cheap and Easy Veal Ragu

This cold and uncomfortable weather requires a meaty, warm and filling pasta. I was on the phone yesterday with my butcher, Nichola, and asked about veal neck bones. He said he had the next best thing: veal shoulder. It was cheap at $5.00 a pound.
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Lamb Barley Soup

Lamb Barley Soup for 10:

2 lamb fore-shanks
2-lb lamb neck bones
3 Spanish onions
5 carrots
5 celery stalks
3 large garlic cloves
1 bottle red wine
2 quarts chicken stock
¼-cup vegetable oil
2 cans Muir Glen Whole peeled tomatoes (strained)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ -cup flat parsley Read More »

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Chicken with Green Beans

Iacono is a family run chicken farm on the edge of the village of East Hampton.  I stopped in today to visit with Anthony Iacono and his mother, primarily to place an order for six chickens.  I will use them on February 20th as I prepare a dish to be served among several other chefs’ work at a benefit for my friend Gerry Hayden. Read More »

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Garlic & Ginger-Studded Rotisserie Pork Loin

The Ambrose sisters and their sunny mother have returned from eight days on the southeastern coast of Florida, primed for another semester. Their call came in at 11:30 a.m. reporting a safe landing at JFK. “What’s the plan for dinner? ” they asked. I responded “pork loin” and the plan is made. Read More »

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Brussels Sprouts & Sage Sausage Hash

Brussels Sprouts and Sage Sausage Hash

Thanksgiving breakfast:  Yes, we love Brussels sprouts in our house. On Thanksgiving, it has been determined that it is just fine, in fact, to serve them twice. The first time is for breakfast where we cook them camp-out style on a grill over the fire in our fireplace. The second is for dinner, simply sauteed with garlic in olive oil until brown.

Breakfast ingredients:

a dozen local eggs
½ loaf of whole-grain bread for toast
12 Brussels sprouts, quartered
3 small red potatoes, cut into cubes and blanched for 3 minutes
1 small sweet potato, cut and blanched
1 leek, diced and rinsed
4 shallots, quartered
½ pound fresh-from-the-butcher sage pork sausage
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon kosher salt
cracked pepper to taste Read More »

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Chicken Hash “21” Style in Honor of Elegant Sarah

Back in the late 90’s, I had the good fortune of serving the Amagansett, NY community on a daily basis. The restaurant was called Estia’s and I had a bird’s eye view of Main Street for 16 years from my kitchen.

The nice thing about running a full-service restaurant seven days a week over the course of a decade is the people that you meet. One of my favorites was an elegant lady named Sarah Davis.  She stopped by occasionally for lunch with her daughter Tracy.  It was my good fortune to have a chance to serve Sarah, joining the legions of friends who admired her style. Read More »

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3 Sprout Sandwich with Pinenut Cream & Parsley Puree

Three Sprout Sandwich with Pinenut Cream and Parsley puree, parsnips and butternut squash

Tomorrow night will mark my first vegetarian tasting effort. Five courses served with organic wine from the Heller Estate in Carmel Valley, California.

This dishwill start the evening. As the menu developed, I was concerned that there might not be enough substance to satisfy a hungry guest. Having tasted this dish, I now feel confident that we will more than fulfill the goal of providing complete nourishment with tasty variety.


1 butternut squash, peeled and sliced thin on a mandoline
1 spicy turnip, peeled and sliced thin on a mandoline
1 cup lentil sprouts
1 cup sunflower sprouts
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
1 cup pine nuts (soak in filtered water over night)
1 garlic clove
2 shallots
1 cup parsley leaves
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup water
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Fancy Eggs Benedict

Anything with hollandaise sauce works for me, especially when I’m cooking at home for my daughter Mansell.  This morning, she is on a soft food diet so I decided to forget about the usual English muffin and sliced ham arrangement.  Leftover mashed potatoes and diced ham provide a perfect replacement.

Simply mix 2 slices of ham chopped fine with 2 cups of mashed potatoes and create patties. Place the patties on a buttered pan over medium heat and cook until they begin to brown. Flip them over and repeat.

After tasting it, we realized we actually like this preparation better so it will be on the “Little Kitchen” Sunday brunch menu soon. Read More »

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