Capital Chefs: Tom Marr of Pete’s Apizza (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘squash’
courtesy of ‘ekelly80′

So I didn’t manage to obtain the secrets behind making New Haven style pizza (besides, would it even compare to the real thing if you made it at home?) But, I did get a great recipe for one of Pete’s Apizza’s antipasti: carmelized winter squash, sundried cherries and apple crisps with a cider vinaigrette. According to Chef Marr, you can use a variety of squash for this recipe–butternut squash, acorn squash–depending on your preferences and what’s available or in season. For those of you wary about stepping in the kitchen, fear not. The dish is an easy, but impressive, appetizer to serve to your friends the next time they come over for dinner. The recipe is for a large amount, so feel free to scale it down if you’re not cooking for a crowd.

Ingredients:
10 lbs. winter squash
2 lbs. sundried cherries
5 lbs. apple crisps (instructions below in step 3)
6 oz. olive oil
2 oz. salt
1/4 oz. pepper
1/4 cup of mache (also known as lamb’s lettuce, available at grocery stores such as Whole Foods)
1 qt. cider vinaigrette (recipe is below)

Instructions:
1. Peel and dice squash into 1/2 inch pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
2. Heat large saute pan until hot, add squash and sear on one side, put in the oven to finish if needed. The squash should be tender but not mushy. Immediately put squash on a cool pan or tray as the squash will continue to cook.
3. To make apple crisps: core apples and slice on slicer very thin. Dehydrate in a 200 degree oven until crisp, reserve to use later.
4. Rehydrate cherries in hot water until soft, drain and reserve.
5. Mix squash and cherries together. To plate, garnish with cider vinaigrette, apple crisps and mache.

Ingredients for Cider Vinaigrette (yields 1/4 cup):
8 oz. of apple cider (for the cider reduction)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions for Cider Vinaigrette:
1. Reduce 8 oz of cider in a small pan to ½ oz. Put cider reduction in a small bowl and add vinegar.
2. Using a whisk or fork slowly add oil mixing vigorously until all oil has been added. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Marissa was born and bred in New Jersey, but moved to DC for undergrad at GWU (Go Colonials, go!), fell in love with the District and learned that there was life and civilization beyond New York City. She loves eating at white-tablecloth-three-forks-at-your-place-setting restaurants, but she’ll also be the first to suggest we scarf down some chili dogs at 2 am. Simply put, she loves all things food. You can also read about why she loves DC. Follow her on Twitter and email her at mbialecki (at) welovedc.com.

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