Great Day Kitchen: Winter Squash & Ricotta Bruschetta - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Great Day Kitchen: Winter Squash & Ricotta Bruschetta

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Check out Chef Eric DeGroot prepare two dishes that will be offered during the run of Roger Rocka's latest production of "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum."

Toasted Winter Squash & Ricotta Bruschetta with Baby Arugula and Balsamic Reduction

1 large loaf of bread of your choice, such as: pugliese, sourdough or ciabatta
extra virgin olive oil for brushing bread slices
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Zest of 3 lemons
About 4 cups baby arugula
Roasted butternut squash, recipe follows
Balsamic reduction, recipe follows

Slice bread about ¾ inch thick on a bias. Brush bread slices with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Toast bread on a grill or under a broiler. Keep a close eye on it to avoid burning. Bread slices should be crispy on the exterior but soft in middle. Lay out bruschetta flat on baking pan and set aside.

In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and lemon zest. Season to taste with kosher salt.

Smear about 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture on each bread slice. Then top slices with roasted butternut squash and toast in a 350 degree oven till heated through. In a large bowl, dress arugula with extra virgin olive oil and maybe a little balsamic reduction. Taste and season to you're liking. To serve, place a generous handful of dressed arugula in the middle of the platter and place the bruschetta around. Drizzle balsamic reduction over and serve.

Roasted Butternut Squash:

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½ inch chunks
½ cup olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Toss squash and olive oil in bowl.. Season with a little salt and pepper and lay out on a baking pan. Put in a 350 degree preheated oven and roast till squash is caramelized a bit and soft in the middle.

Balsamic Reduction:

Reduce 2 cups balsamic vinegar in small saucepan over low heat. Cook until it is reduced to ½ cup, about 30 minutes.
Bleu Cheese Crusted Filet Mignon with Tuscan Kale

4- 8 ounce center cut filet mignon steaks olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

4 ounces good quality bleu cheese
¾ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup thinly sliced chives
Pinch of ground black pepper

Season the filets with salt, pepper and rub with olive oil. Put the cheese, cream, lemon juice and Wocestershire sauce in a food processor and blend until smooth. Place in bowl and fold in the chives and a good pinch of black pepper. Set aside. Heat oven proof saute pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and pan sear filets over medium high heat. Cook until desired temperature or finish filets off in the oven. Just before the filets are done to you're liking, spoon a generous amount of bleu cheese sauce over each filet. Turn filet over and rest in juices adding more sauce on the other side. Serve filets over sauteed kale.

Tuscan Kale:

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
8 ounces coarsley chopped Tuscan kale, stems removed
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
½ cup chardonnay

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant and slightly golden. Then add kale, stirring constantly till wilted. Pour in wine and continue stirring while wine is reducing and steaming kale. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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