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 Reduction1 large loaf of bread of your choice, such as: pugliese, sourdough or ciabattaextra virgin olive oil for brushing bread slices2 cups ricotta cheese2 cups grated mozzarella cheese 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheeseZest of 3 lemonsAbout 4 cups baby arugulaRoasted butternut squash, recipe followsBalsamic reduction, recipe followsSlice bread about 3/4 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 1/2 inch chunks 1/2 cup olive oilKosher salt and fresh ground black pepperToss 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 1/2 cup, about 30 minutes. Bleu Cheese Crusted Filet Mignon with Tuscan Kale4- 8 ounce center cut filet mignon steaks olive oilKosher salt and fresh ground black pepper4 ounces good quality bleu cheese 3/4 cup heavy cream1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1/4 cup thinly sliced chivesPinch of ground black pepperSeason 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 oil2 large garlic cloves, chopped8 ounces coarsley chopped Tuscan kale, stems removedKosher salt and fresh ground black pepper 1/2 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.