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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Turkish Lamb Kebab with Tomato Chutney & Israeli Couscous

Lamb Kebab on the Big Wood River in Ketchum, Idaho

Recipe from Scott Mason of the Ketchum Grill, Idaho

Serves 8

Ingredients for Lamb Kebabs:

5 lbs ground lamb 1/2 bunch chopped fresh mint 3 shallots, diced 1/2 cup currants 1/2 cup pine nuts 1 tbsp chopped garlic Salt 3 tbsp cinnamon, ground 1/2 tblsp clove, ground 1/2 tbsp fenugreek

Mix all together. Shape onto skewers and grill. Serve with flat bread, bib lettuce, couscous, chutney and yogurt!

Turkish Lamb Kebabs cooking riverside
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Chocolate Pudding for 40 kids

Cooking at the Hayground school with the students

The annual Hayground school visit is a highlight on my winter schedule. This year the class was all boys. We started in the classroom and watched the riverside video demonstration for our main course recipe from Estia’s American Rivers Tour website.

Cooking class at the Hayground school

Both situations were a first in my experience cooking with the students in that school. I think the kids were excited and better informed going into the kitchen after watching a recipe demo in the classroom.

Our menu included corn bread crusted chicken pot pie, cranberry sauce, a salad of spinach, arugula and cabbage in a tangerine, mustard vinaigrette, and for dessert, chocolate pudding.

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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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Chewy Brownies for the Holidays

Estia's Fudgy Brownie recipe


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2  1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1  1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1  1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Melt chocolate chips and butter together over low heat in a double boiler. Combine all ingredients in a mixer. Pour into buttered 1/2 sheet pan & place in preheated 375°F oven for 25 minutes.

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Sofrito from field to plate

Estia's Sofrito

Harvesting different types of peppers at the Quail Hill Farm

Reporting in from the Quail Hill Farm on October 30th. My membership here extends back to the early days, having joined New York’s first Community Supported Agriculture adventure (CSA) in 1993 I’m always thrilled to harvest here.

Harvesting carrots was my first task.  Take a look at our carrot video in the Estia Seed to Plate series. Once I was finished with the pitchfork in the carrot bed I moved on to find an abundance of chili’s three beds to the west. As always my eye was distracted by the beauty of the farm that’s been created and maintained by the Quail Hill crew now run by farmer Layton and mentored by poet and seed specialist Scott Chaskey.

Last week my email inbox featured a note from my pal Laura’s wife Catherine. She had visited a garden—planted by a man she spoke fondly of—and she carried a large bag filled with peppers home that day. Her note to me requested a recipe that might properly celebrate the harvest. Read More »

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Lemon Squares

Lemon Squares

Ingredients for crust:

  • 1 pound butter – cold – cut into pieces
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups gram cracker meal
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup corn starch

Combine flour, gram cracker meal & butter in a food processor, pulse for 30 seconds.

Add the rest and run until it starts to turn into a ball.

Line a ½ sheet pan with parchment. Roll the crust dough out to flat with a rolling pin and line the bottom of the sheet pan with the dough. Place in a 350°F oven for 25 minutes. Read More »

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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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“Over the top” Mac & Cheese

Estia's “Over the top” Mac & Cheese

This is a dish that I started using as a big starch filler for our annual Christmas party last year. The key ingredient was love as I had my 3 daughters by my side, each of them stuffing penne into rigatoni, singing Christmas songs and making it all so easy.

Today as I stood alone in the kitchen I was missing the girls—and their hands, their smiles & their cooking enthusiasm. Then our pals Stew, Tina and Amy walked in and took over the pasta stuffing. I made the béchamel, added the cheese, and in 15 minutes there were 3 casseroles going into the fridge, ready to be baked and served at tonight’s harvest dinner.

Recipe serves over 20 people


  • 2 boxes Penne (DeCecco, Penne lisce #10)
  • 2 boxes Rigatoni ( DeCecco, Mezzi rigatoni #26)
  • 16 oz Swiss cheese, grated
  • 24 oz Gruyer cheese, grated
  • 16 oz Mozzarella, grated
  • 3 cups, salted butter
  • 1 cup A.P. flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons salt

Estia's “Over the top” Mac & Cheese

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Peach Pancakes with Organic, NY Woodlands Maple Syrup

Milk Peach pancakes with organic maple syrup at Estia's

Come to Estia’s Little Kitchen for a plate full of fresh, seasonal peach milk pancakes. We are introducing a new organic maple syrup that tastes wonderful drizzled over our pancakes and toasts.

Woodlands Maple is organic, single-origin New York State maple syrup sourced from farmers who believe in sustainable and environmentally friendly harvesting methods.

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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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Sweet corn & rye berry salad

Sweet corn and rye berry salad
Serves 10


  • 6-8 corn cobs
  • 1 cup dried rye berries (or wheat berries)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 cups diced zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped scallion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

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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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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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