Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pete's APizza in DC Offers GF crust

On Sunday night, David and I had dinner with our friends, Chris and Molly at their DC home. Molly and Chris are always eager to try new gluten free options and they had discovered that Pete's New Haven Style Apizza (located near the Columbia Heights metro) offers a gluten free crust.

When we called to ask about the preparation of the crust and pizza, they were very knowledgeable about contamination, telling us that the pizza crust is cooked halfway in a separate oven and then when a GF crust is ordered, they put it in the oven with the other pizzas, but on a special baking stone for just GF orders. (It always makes me feel better and more confident in the food when the manager clearly understands the need to be cautious in preparing the food, not just the ingredients.)

The pizza was delivered to Molly and Chris' house and we thoroughly enjoyed the crispy crust. Pete's gluten free crust is a thinner, crispier crust with a great crunch. The only problem is there are so many topping options to choose. The only toppings that contain gluten are the fried eggplant and meatballs, but the rest are gluten free friendly. David and I shared the Nighthawk pizza which is topped with basil pesto, grilled chicken, wild mushrooms, caramelized onions and mozzarella. Delicious! I look forward to trying the New Haven Green (artichoke hearts, oven dried tomatoes, sauteed spinach and olives) next time!

Pete's New Haven APizza

1400 Irving Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
202-332-PETE (7383)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cooking with Summer Squash

One of my favorite summer foods is squash. You can find squash easily and in great quantities during Washington, D.C. summers. Last summer I shared a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) with my sister-in-law, Alden, and we were blessed with all of the squash and zucchini we could imagine.

If you love fresh vegetables and fruit, a CSA is a great idea for the summer. You get a delivery each week from the same farm of whatever vegetables are growing on that farm at that moment. It forced me to cook and experiment with unfamiliar produce such as bok choy but I also learned to make my own pesto (due to the unlimited basil we received for a few weeks) and gluten free zucchini bread. I would recommend sharing a CSA with a good friend because then you don't feel as if you're wasting food when you're out of town on vacation and it's a fun excuse to cook together!

When joining a CSA or going to a local farmer's market, you're guaranteed to encounter plenty of squash. There are many ways to cook squash but today I wanted to share two delicious squash dishes that are family favorites. Both of these dishes are great for entertaining because they don't require much hands on attention once the cooking process begins.

Simple Roasted Summer Squash: This dish is very simple, easy and flavorful and you can make it in small or large quantities (sometimes a CSA will only give you one piece of squash which can be difficult to find a recipe and use for just one).

Summer squash, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
Onion, sliced
Olive oil
parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Slice squash into 1/2 inch round pieces. (If it's a larger squash/zucchini, I then cut the rounds in half.)
3. Slice up an onion.
4. Place onion and squash on cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper on top. Mix up onions and squash in olive oil. Lay onions and squash flat on cookie sheet.
5. Cook for 15 minutes then using a spatula, flip onions and squash and cook for another 15 minutes.
6. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and bake for another 2 minutes.
(Note: I like the squash to be nice a browned before taking them out of the oven, but they also taste good when not browned.)

Dot's Squash Casserole: This recipe is my grandmother, Dot's, old recipe. My mom made it last week and I'm going to make it today using squash from my in-law's garden in Linden, VA that is overflowing with summer vegetables right now!

3 pounds summer squash, chunked
3 medium onions, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup water
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
(the original recipe also calls for crumbled crackers on top but we just skip that step now to make it GF! I think it tastes better without it anyways)

1. Cook squash & onions with water, sugar, salt and pepper until mashable (about 45 minutes).
2. Beat two eggs lightly.
3. Add milk to eggs and mix well with squash. Add butter and mix.
4. Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes.
This recipe freezes well also!

Enjoy the abundance of squash during the last month of summer! Feel free to add your own squash recipes.