Valentine's Day Dinner from Kendall College

February 6, 2009 7:07:03 AM PST
Chef Ben Browning from Kendall College shares his recipes for a delicious gourmet meal at home this Valentine's Day. It's an option for families or couples who want to break out of traditional Valentine's Day dinners at fancy restaurants or save money given the current economic climate. Beet Salad

1½ oz roasted & peeled beets
1½ oz roasted & peeled golden beets
1½ oz roasted & peeled chioggia beets
¾ fl oz lemon thyme vinaigrette
¼ tsp sea salt
black peppercorn to taste
½ tsp orange oil
1 tsp fresh chives
½ oz wild arugula
¼ oz Ladyfinger popcorn
1 oz feta cheese

Wash beets, lightly coat with canola oil, salt and pepper. Wrap individually with foil, roast at 325F for 45 min or until an inserted knife comes out easily. Let cool to room temperature, unwrap and peel the beets by wiping off the skin with a kitchen towel, store each type of beet separately. Pop popcorn in grape seed oil (1T oil per 1/4C corn) season with popcorn salt and sumac.

Quarter the beets and toss with two-thirds of the lemon-thyme vinaigrette, salt, pepper, orange oil and chives. Dress the arugula with the remaining third of the lemon-thyme vinaigrette, salt, pepper and feta cheese. Lay out the beets on the plate. Top with dressed arugula and popcorn. Spot the plate with orange oil.

Lemon Thyme Dressing

4 ea juiced lemon
4 fl oz extra virgin olive oil
½ oz minced yellow shallots
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black peppercorn
½ tbls thyme

Mix all ingredients well

Oil, Orange

1 Peel of an orange
.25 tsp annatto seed
3 fl oz grape seed oil
3 fl oz argon oil
.5 tsp sugar

Puree all ingredient in vita prep blender on high speed until the sides of the blender become warm. Let rest overnight. Strain oil .

Paperdelle Pasta with Winter Vegetable Ragout and Herb Pisteau

5 oz egg yolk pasta dough
1 tsp canola oil
½ oz sliced round yellow shallots
2 oz oyster mushrooms
1 tsp unsalted butter
2 fl oz chardonnay wine
4 fl oz reduce by half heavy cream
4 oz winter vegetable ragout
1 tsp minced fresh savory
½ tsp minced thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbls pisteau - herb
1 oz preserved purple-white striped eggplant

Make pasta. Slice shallots into thin rounds. Tear the mushrooms. Ragout base. Reduce cream by ½. Pasta water (2tb salt per gal water.)

In a hot sauté pan add in the oil, shallots and mushrooms. Saute then deglaze with white wine, reduce by half. Add reduced cream and herbs. Bring back to simmer, season with salt. Add in ragout vegetables. Drop pasta into boiling water. Re-season ragout, adjust constancy with pasta water. When pasta is cooked, strain well and toss with ragout. Plate pasta with warm preserved egg plant on the top. Place herb pisteau around the plate.

Pasta Dough

13 oz Cerasota unbleached AP flour
6 ea yolks egg
4 fl oz Water
½ tsp kosher salt

Mix the flour and salt. Add in the egg yolks and water, work in until a ball is formed. Wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Make up dough with a pasta machine to thinness setting of 7. Cut into 1" wide strips, dust with flour and chill for service.

Vegetable Ragout

8 oz Carrot
8 oz rutabaga
8 oz beauty heart radish
8 oz celery root
8 oz sliced round red sun choke
3 oz brown unsalted butter
to taste kosher salt

Individually sauté each of the vegetables with brown butter until tender, season with salt and lay out on parchment lined sheet tray to cool.

Herb Pisteau

2 oz basil leaf
¼ bunch Italian parsley
1 oz fresh chives
½ oz peeled garlic
4 fl oz canola oil
¼ tbls kosher salt
½ tsp black peppercorn
1 fl oz basil oil

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender. Push down with plunger and puree until slightly warm. Chill in an ice bath.

Oil, Basil

1 cup canola oil
2 fl oz Extra virgin olive oil
4 oz Basil leaf
¼ ea Italian parsley
1 oz blanched spinach

Blend in high speed blender 6-7 times until warm and fully green. Let rest at room temperature for 1 hour. Strain through cheese cloth.

For More Information

On Saturday, February 14, Kendall is offering a hands-on cooking class from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. It's $85 per person and couples will prepare a 4-course meal together. For class details visit

The Dining Room at Kendall College is an extraordinary working classroom that provides advanced student chefs with the opportunity to gain real-world experience in a professionally-run fine dining restaurant under the supervision of Kendall's experienced faculty and staff. The Dining Room at Kendall College is open for BYOB lunch and dinner on weekdays, plus Saturdays for dinner only.