The Dining Room at Kendall College

>> Friday, June 30, 2017

Chicken Piccata at Kendall College

We dined here for the first time for Restaurant Week and were so glad we did! Interestingly, we had dined at Naha the night before and Kendal blew them away in terms of flavor pairings and portion size.

We started with Mushroom Risotto / Parmesan Tuile / Huile d'Persil and the Wok Seared Scallop / Pumpkin Ravioli / Dashi Broth / Bonito / Togarashi Sichimi. They were both wonderful, but my scallop in dashi broth was the real standout - perfectly cooked, lovely broth, and the pumpkin ravioli was the best counterpoint. It was served with a tangy olive bread and sage-infused butter. An amuse-bouche of two veggie sushi bite kept us eager for more.

My Roast Chicken Piccata / Chives / Chives / Whipped Ricotta Sesame Grits / Capers / Yellow Squash Proven├žal / Chicken Jus entree was amazing. Chicken Piccata sounds a little boring but this portion of breast and wing was tender, juicy, and alive with flavor. The grits were nice and creamy, but the yellow squash was a real surprise. It was in a sort of tomatoey agro-dolce sauce that I can't wait to recreate.

My husband has the Grilled Strip Loin / Chimmichurri / Curried Jasmine Rice / Pickled Ginger Salad / Romesco Sauce which was like a rave party of flavor! So much going on in the dish, but the tastes cooperated in making the dish exceptional.

Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Mousse at Kendall College

For dessert, I was going to have Bingsu but the Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Mousse / Dark Chocolate Mousse / Hazelnut Crunch / Orange Anglaise / Hazelnut Whipped Cream / Chocolate Cake won out. It was lovely as well as delicious. Joe had a peanut butter/bacon cheesecake with bananas and it was amazing.

I can't believe we waited so long to visit this place. The dining room is comfortable and tranquil, with enormous windows showcasing the skyline to the south, and the windows into the kitchen let us enjoy watching the students hard at work. Service was impeccable and prompt. Around the dining room and some adjoining halls are displays of antique kitchen equipment which you really shouldn't miss seeing. On top of all that - free plentiful parking! We're big fans.

Kendall College is at 900 N North Branch St., Chicago, IL 60642.


Edamame and Grilled Corn Salad

>> Sunday, June 18, 2017

Edamame and Grilled Corn Salad

This quick salad is fresh and full of healthy ingredients. It's perfect with Veracruz-style Tilapia grilled in foil packets - one of our favorite ways to cook fish.

We like to use the edamame without pods in the frozen vegetable section of the grocery store. I made the vinaigrette with a Mexican lime-infused olive oil that my sister gave me for Christmas. Beth and my mom visited the Queen Creek Olive Mill in Phoenix, AZ in December, and also brought me feta-stuffed green olives. I think I'm going to raid the olive jar when I'm done with this post!

If you don't have any Mexican lime-infused olive oil handy, try 1 tbsp of lime juice and plain olive oil - or mix in whatever flavor you do have. This salad recipe is very flexible.


3 ears corn
12 oz. frozen edamame
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup red bell pepper

For the Vinaigrette

1/4 cup lime olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cracked black pepper
2 tsp salt


Heat the grill to medium. Shuck the corn and brush with a little oil. Grill on all sides, turning frequently, for about 10 minutes, until the corn is barely cooked and lightly browned. Allow to cool, then cut the kernels from the cob.

Steam the edamame in the microwave or on the stove until tender, about 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water to chill, then let it drain thoroughly. Stir in the corn, pepper, and onion. Shake together the vinagrette ingredients and pour over the salad. Let it chill for at least an hour before serving so that the flavors blend together well.

Serves 4-6.


Braised Fava Beans with Pancetta (Stufato di Fave, Stufato di Baccelli)

>> Sunday, June 4, 2017

Braised Fava Beans with Pancetta (Stufato di Fave, Stufato di Baccelli)

If we were in Italy right now, chances are we'd find a dish of fresh young fava beans braised with pancetta, broth, and tomato on our dinner table. This is a classic early summer dish that's just popping with flavor. It also works well with butter beans or limas.

For a few weeks now, I have been seeing fresh fava beans in the pod at our local grocery store but didn't have a craving or a specific recipe in mind. Then the other day, I saw a large heel of cured pancetta (half a pound!) in the reduced section of our deli. The price was irresistible, and I began thinking of braised fava beans.

But when I went back to the store with the beans, not a single fresh fava was found. I bought a frozen package, finally, since I wasn't going to give up my stewed bean craving that easily. The shelled frozen beans tend to be more mature, so I blanched them and slipped them out of their skins so they'd be tender. Fantastic.


1 pound fresh shelled fava beans, or 20 oz. frozen favas
1 tbsp olive oil
4 oz pancetta, finely chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
ground pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup water


If using frozen fava beans, boil a small pot of water. When it reaches a boil, put in the beans and cook for 1 minute. Soak the beans in ice water for one minute, then peel off the outer skins. I found it easiest to pull off the dark stripe at the top; the rest of the skin comes right off with that strip.

Heat the oil in a medium frying pan, then cook the pancetta and onion until soft and slightly browned. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the beans are tender and the sauce has thickened.

Serves 4 as a side dish, or 2 as a main meal.

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