Friday, June 10, 2005

Week 8 - BARLEY RISOTTO

Saskatchewan Menu of the Week - June 10.

Breakfast – Yogurt and raspberries (thawed).
Lunch – Lentil salad.
Dinner – BBQ pork chops, barley and mushroom risotto, berry crisp.

Barley Risotto
Risotto is an Italian dish made with short-grained Arborio rice. Luckily, it can be made just as well with Saskatchewan pearl barley. The cooking method is important – hot liquid is added gradually so the grains absorb maximum liquid and become soft and creamy.

2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup dried Saskatchewan mushrooms, soaked in water
small ionion, chopped
2 tsp fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary and chives)
salt and pepper
1 cup pearl barley
4 cups chicken stock or water, simmering
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a pot on low heat. Drain the mushrooms, adding the liquid to the chicken stock. Sauté the mushrooms. Remove with a spoon and reserve. Sauté the onion and herbs, adding salt and pepper. When the onion is soft, turn up the heat. Add the barley and cook, stirring, until the butter is absorbed and the barley is starting to stick to the pot.

Add one cup of simmering chicken stock. Stir briefly. Cook until the liquid is absorbed. Add another cup of liquid. Continue this process until the barley is creamy and tender enough to eat, 30-40 minutes. You should not stray too far from the stove or risk burning the barley on the bottom of the pot. If you need more liquid, add water.

Stir in the mushrooms and parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Sources: barley from Daybreak Scheresky Mill, mushrooms from the Saskatchewan Made Marketplace; herbs from the farmers' market, homemade chicken stock.

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