Plants First, Fish Next

The original intent of this journal was to chronicle the trials and tribulations of the struggling twenty-something, as I searched for love and happiness in the small city-burb of ManchVegas, NH. Now, I'm thirty-something, I've found love in many forms, happiness in even more, and now the struggle is just... well... life. And finding time to do the million and one things I want to do- including writing.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New Recipe: February

Barley Risotto with Cauliflower and Red Wine

In pursuit of my goal to cook at least one new recipe a month, last night I made Barley Risotto.  I had picked up the ingredients late last week, then ended up with no time to cook.  Luckily, dried barley is UBER shelf-stable, I always have wine, and cauliflower takes a long time to get nasty in the fridge.

I've never cooked barley before.  I've never made risotto before.  So.... this was interesting.

I used my medium sized enamel-coated cast-iron pot (a dutch oven), but I think this could be made in a stainless steal stock pot as well.  I just don't have one.  Well, I do, but it's currently in the cupboards at Camp, which is closed up for the winter.  It was messy.  Make sure the cauliflower is cut up real small - almost a dice.  There's a lot of stirring and big pieces kept flying out or pushing barley bits out.  Bad enough to have bits all over the stove, but after putting the red wine in, the bits were like little stain-bombs.

The barley took about 45 minutes to fully cook.  I probably used 1-1/2 boxes of chicken stock total.  Also, because I love cheese, I amped that up.  The end result is a strange puce color, but yummy.  Probably could have added salt?  But the flavor was a little... one-note for a main dish.  The cauliflower didn't get the nutty flavor I was hoping for.  Perhaps roasting it first could have achieved that, but I don't think I'll be taking that extra step.  It also made a HUGE amount.  Unless you're feeding 4 people regularly, cut the recipe in half.

The barley made a delicious risotto.  I'll be working with it again like classic risotto, trying it on its own, adding mushrooms or chicken or other types of cheese.  This recipe was a good place to start.

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  • At 9:15 AM , Blogger Heather said...

    "Little stain bombs"-- This delighted me. Go Leah!

    Also, my "word verification" thingy is "bophoper." What the hell is that? One hoping for bops? Who hopes for bops?


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