Saturday, April 4, 2009

Life happens

My husband walked into the kitchen yesterday afternoon and said "I have good news and bad news. The good news is that we don't have a fire, and the bad is that we have to go buy a new washing machine." He was doing laundry and heard banging. Not an unbalanced load, but the transmission had gone and smoke was emanating from the washing machine. We are waiting for the new one to arrive this afternoon. There are a lot of choices out there, and I was kind of overwhelmed not having even thought about getting a new one and had not done my usual research. In the end we spent more than we had planned because the energy star appliances are so much more efficient and LIPA(Long Island Power Authority) gives a 10% discount for buying them. Hopefully it cleans as well as it is energy efficient.

Food Polenta Pizza

Celiac disease, my husband, and lactose intolerance, me, is our very own version of Jack Sprat and his wife. A couple of weeks ago Mark Bittman, in his column for the Times, The Minimalist, wrote about whole grains for breakfast and a polenta pizza was one of the recipes. I didn't want it for breakfast, but for dinner, perfect. I don't remember the last time I had pizza, and while I could make a gluten free dough. that's a lot more work for something that only sort of resembles pizza. This is a totally different animal, or rather pizza, and it is just fabulous. I sent a link to our son, who also has celiac disease and he was in heaven. I made a few changes due to diet and tastes. The original recipe calls for sauteed spinach, pancetta, and onion with Gorgonzola cheese. My dh hates spinach, and Gorgonzola isn't exactly on the lactose free list. Cabots to the rescue. They make a number of cheeses that are lactose free, including a shredded part skim mozzarella. I used sauteed escarole with onion and copious amounts of sliced garlic in my version with some Parmigiana reggiano, which is aged long enough to be lactose free. I could have used the instant polenta, but I discovered that long cooking polenta doesn't need the 30 minutes of constant stirring that Marcella Hazan's books tell you. You don't need to wear long heat proof gloves to keep from getting scalded when the hot polenta bubbles and spits up at you. Use a double boiler and it takes about 15 to 20 minutes of easy cooking with occasional stirring. My double boiler is too small so I use my 4 qt pot with my 2 qt sitting in it. It has a loop handle that keeps it level in the larger pan. Works like a charm. My pizza pan is larger than Bittman's so I used 1 1/2 cup of polent to 4 1/2 cups of water. Otherwise, I followed his recipe. Well, I used less oil. If you are a Weight Watcher, it's about 5 points per slice, depending on how much cheese and oil you use. Here's a link to the original recipe.
Mark Bittman


  1. Washing machine clanging equals not good! Good thing you were home and able to put out a potential disaster! I know someone whose dishwasher caught fire while they were out of the house.

    It must take some engineering to be able to cook for you and your husband. Geez--I thought it was difficult here with my husband a diabetic and heart patient, and me a vegetarian!

  2. Mmmmmm that pizza looks delicious:)
    My son has a severe nut choices for him have come along way, but it was not always easy :)and there are "very" few restaurants in our area that will guarantee nut free lots of home cooked meals for him.

  3. why does your version of the same thing ALWAYS look 1000x better than mine?

  4. Pizza looks delicious. It must be difficult to prepare meals with both these diets.

  5. I hate you and your cooking skills with a fiery passion. And by hate, I mean miss so much it hurts. My hot plate just can't DO that stuff. Also, I am not sure if it actually works as I've never turned it on. Yay for cheap takeout in Korea!

    Please, please make this for me in September when I come home???

  6. I really must try this! I adore polenta.