Mexican Sweet Corn Chowder

Mexican sweet corn chowder Estia's style

|serves a crowd|

Add ingredients in a large pot:

20 corn cobs – ( remove corn from cobs first and save kernels for later)

Bring 2 gallons of water to a simmer then add:

  • 1 lb unsalted butter
  • 1 quart 1/2&1/2
  • 1 large white onion – chopped
  • 3 bunch cilantro, stems included (rinsed twice)
  • 20 poblano chilis – (cut peppers in half and don’t remove seeds or stems)
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • Add corn cobs
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Little Kitchen Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

Recipe serves 30 cups


  •  6 quarts water
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 10 plum tomatos
  • 25 Guajillo chilis (stems removed)
  • 3 Arbol chilis (stems removed)
  • 1 Spanish onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 dozen fried, chopped tortillas

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Finding “{the} Lost Kitchen” in Freedom, Maine

The Lost Kitchen

cowsIn late March, on a quiet Wednesday morning an Estia breakfast customer overheard me describing my daughters summer job in Maine. As I moved back toward the kitchen he quietly suggested I look into a far away dining room in Freedom, Maine called {the} Lost Kitchen, “it’ll be well worth the effort” he said.

Freedom, Maine

If you passed the Post Office in Freedom, Main you missed the sign to the Lost Kitchen

So I did. That night, on the internet I read a story in Food & Wine about a sharp woman named  Erin French who followed her dream back to the town she grew up in. A few weeks later my new breakfast customer was back, again as I passed him at the counter he whispered ” Time to call Lost Kitchen”, and I did. It was early April and Erin had started reserving seats for her 2016 season, after a few exchanged calls I secured a table for 3, Wednesday July 13. Planned in tandem with our visit to catch up with Mansell, our 19 year old camp counselor.

Lost Kitchen outside

{the} Lost Kitchen

It’s not easy to find Freedom, Maine, GPS is strongly advised. After leaving our hotel in Camden we drove past gorgeous lakes, through pine forests and over hills that crested to views of farm fields that went on for miles. The nice thing about being on vacation in Maine is that you must slow down, in some ways I felt forced to. We didn’t need to hurry either as the reservation was set for 6pm. That is the time they start and there’s only one nightly seating at “Lost Kitchen”. Read More »

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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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Beef Barley Soup

Preparing the Beef:

  • 2lb boneless beef short rib or flap meat
  • 2 tablespoons salt mix: equal parts of sea salt, white pepper, ground cumin, black pepper. Make in batches and store next to the stove.
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/2 bottle red wine
  • 2 quarts chicken stock

Season the beef. Heat a deep roasting pan on the stove over medium flame. Lace butter in the pan and sear the beef for several minutes on each side. Once browned, add liquid and bring to a simmer. Cover and place in a 350°F oven for 3 hours. Remove, strain the stock, and slice the beef into pieces. Refrigerate the beef in the stock overnight. Read More »

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New Years Black Eyed Pea Soup (Good Luck Soup)

New Year's Black Eyed Pea Soup or Good Luck Soup

Happy New Year 2016 to all my blog readers and to my wonderful customers at Estia’s!

The following Good Luck soup servers 10.

Start with:

2 bags dried black eyed peas (16oz each)
2 quarts water
1.5 lb smoked pork (necks are meaty, hocks work too)

Start by simmering the beans in water for an hour then add the smoked pork, best done a day in advance.
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Celery Root Soup with miso, farro & vegetables

Celery Root Soup with Miso and Farro

Makes 8 Servings

For Celery root/Miso purée:

3 medium sized celery roots, trimmed and peeled
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
6 oz white miso

Split celery root and cut into 4 pieces. Place all of the celery root in a small roasting pan and add oil & water. Wrap with foil or cover and roast at 350° degrees for at least an hour until soft. Set aside to cool. Then purée with liquid and 6 oz of white miso in a food processor until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to complete the recipe. Read More »

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Portuguese Kale & Sausage Soup

Portuguese style kale & sausage soup recipe

Makes 8 servings

Kale purée, step #1:

2 cups mirepoix
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sliced garlic
2 quarts chicken stock
4 cups kale, shredded
1 cup white wine  

Start with the butter, garlic and mirepoix in a soup pot over medium heat. Stir for 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and kale. Stir on occasion for 10 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Take off the heat and allow to cool for an hour.

Transfer to a blender and pulse 10 times.

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Gazpacho Recipe


Recipe serves 4

Ingredients  for Puree:

4 medium size Valencia (yellow) tomatoes
2 leeks (whites only)
1 lemon cucumber (seeded)
1 small red sweet pepper (seeded)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced (seeds removed)
1 clove garlic
1 celery stalk
2 teaspoons salt mix, (equal parts cumin & pepper mix)

Wash and chop all ingredients then place in a processor and run until smooth.



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Cool Summer Soup: Asparagus, Arugula, Basil & Lobster

Recipe serves 8


1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup blanched arugula ( drop in salted boiling water for 1/2 minute, transfer to ice water)
2 cups blanched asparagus (same process)
2 small garlic cloves
1 cup ice water
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup mirpoix ( finely diced onion, carrot & celery)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 lemons (juice only)
2 , 1.5lb lobsters Read More »

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