Thursday, June 4, 2009

risotto triumph

Look at my adorable miniaturized afternoon snack!


A nice orangey with a wee tiny sliver of chocolate raspberry tart our friend made for Saturday dinner and was nice enough to send us home with leftovers of! She lived in Paris for a few months and is eager to recreate french pastry. I am happy to encourage her in those endeavors!

Dinner was AWESOME!


I made frickin’ risotto! For years and years and years and years I have wanted to make risotto, and I did it! It seems like such… I don’t know… Advanced Cooking!

I know a lot of people who have referred to it as a “labor of love”, because you have to stand over the stove adding ladelfuls of broth, but that was no problem—I brought 5 pound weights and did strength training, something I too often neglect, between stirs!

Furthermore, I made frickin’ healthy risotto, because we didn’t have any arborio rice, but we did have barley. I knew I’d seen recipes around, and sure enough I put together a couple and made an AWESOME one!

The recipe is mostly adapted from this one, but made slightly less healthy and as a result infinitely more awesome. Like, cmon, you can’t have a risotto with no white wine or Parmesan. Puhlease.

Mushroom Barley Risotto

4 1/4 cups homemade chicken stock

1 tsp. butter

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup pearl barley (we had like 2/3 of a cup pearl barley, so for the rest I added regular. I saw no visible difference.)

3/4 tsp dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1/4 c. white wine

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups or so sliced mushrooms (just what we had- the original recipe called for a pound of ‘em, which I’m sure was awesome. I used a last lone button mushroom and a buncha shiitakes)

1 garlic clove, minced

a few spears of cooked asparagus (totally optional, we just had leftovers)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

3 T grated fresh parmesan cheese

Bring chicken stock to boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add barley, thyme, bay leaf, wine, and 1 and 3/4 cups warm chicken stock; bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until most of stock is absorbed, stirring frequently. The original recipe claimed this takes 5 minutes, it took me like 20? Admittedly I have a sluggish burner. Add remaining stock 1/2 cup at a time, allowing stock to soak in before adding more and stirring frequently until barley is tender, about 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in another large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms and garlic. At this point the mushrooms stuck to my pan, so I deglazed with some broth, which worked beautifully. Reduce heat to low; cook until mushrooms are tender, about five minutes. Combine with barley mixture, then stir in parsley and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!


Here’s the li'l beauty on my plate.

I had it with my mom’s leftover crab cake half from her lunch!


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