Tuesday, September 30, 2014

polenta pizza - a balancing act

most of the time, i find cooking fun, even cathartic at times, especially when i cook with my family and friends... and it's often quite hilarious when my kids join me.

however, it's getting my family to be joyful eaters that is so very horrifically frustrating at times.  i guess if i'm not always excited to cook, why should i expect them to always be happy to eat?  would i be excited to cook all the time if i could be guaranteed sheer dining pleasure at the kitchen table?  i often have dinner on the table late (sorry honey, that time thing is tricky dicky), and then when i do get it on the table, i simply adore the suspicious looks on my family's leary faces.  will my kids ever wax poetic about my cooking, and someday cook the cherished recipes with their own families?

i have some work to do if i'm gonna make the "tried and true" dream come true...

i'm cooking up food love for all of the up and down moments, regardless if i get love back or not.  it's the end game i'm after.  and so far, i'm getting more love than not, and that's what's keeping this crazytrain on the tracks.

here's our latest cooking escapade over polenta pizza.  i have never made polenta from scratch (just bought it prepackaged in a tube).  perhaps that's why my family has never eaten polenta and liked it.  it's my latest ambassador recipe smash with terri salminen, a dear friend, ambassador and chef from the netherlands.

terri's rosemary polenta and pizza gialla

i learned three very important things in this polenta making experience:

1- do NOT skip the cooling of the crust.  i didn't think it was important for my first attempt, so that resulted in a polenta "bake", with only the edges getting crusty = not pizza.
2- you MUST flip the pizza crust (i ignored this step) to really get it nice and crispy.  terri reminded me of this essential step (she spent a week recipe testing this badboy) and i cannot wait to try it again = think about your pan selection.
3- let the pizza rest at least 15-20 min out of the oven to let the polenta cool into a more solid, cohesive crust.  i thought i biffed the recipe up again, only to find a beautiful, solid crust had formed after we put the kids down to bed = you will love love love these leftovers.
4- shake it off if it doesn't turn out how you or your eaters expect.  for a recipe is just a set of directions for all of us to experience & make our own with gumption... i am making the pine nut and garlic pizza gialla next terri!!!



and here are more hot.off.the.press recipe notes from terri for our next batch!

"let your polenta cool really well — let’s say make it at lunch and put it in the refrigerator till dinner — When it has had time to cool, it also sets into a more solid “dough” — We have to coax the cornmeal to do what we want it to do. Oh and one more thing — the topping has to be light — otherwise when you pick up the pizza slice it breaks because of the weight of the filling."

thank you thank you terri, muah!

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