>> Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Of course if you’re pressed for time like I am lately you’ll find ways around making dinner without it taking an eon just to prep your ingredients and then trying to pull everything together. I have always found that one of the easiest things to cook, but still manages to give off the ‘ooo’ factor is risotto, possibly because its constantly touted as being time consuming and is featured on all the fancy restaurant menus and plastered all over food network (we all know what a food network addict I am, if you were procrastinating you would be too). In reality though, risottos are probably one of the easiest things to make when you don’t really have much around the house because anything can go in to a risotto and better yet, it can be made healthy!
Instead of using the traditional Arborio rice for risotto you can often substitute it with brown rice or even grains. I personally like barley. It still gives off the appearance of a true risotto without losing much of the texture. My version is made with mushrooms because we had a huge lot sitting around the fridge, but I’ve tried it with peas, carrots or even asparagus and it’s just as delicious!
We can even do a trade, if somebody is willing to plan my wedding, I’ll make them risotto!
Mushroom Barley Risotto Recipe
1 onion diced
1 cup barley, pot or pearl doesn’t really matter
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup shitake mushrooms chopped
1 cup cremini mushrooms chopped
1 cup portabello mushrooms chopped
1 cup oyster mushrooms chopped
Salt and pepper
Place pot over medium heat; add in a bit of canola oil to coat. Stir in onions and sauté until golden yellow.
Add in the barley, stir for about 30 seconds and pour in the white wine. Let simmer for 2 mins while stirring.
Pour in half of the chicken stock (1 cup) and place the lid on the pot until it comes to a boil, turn heat down to med-low and allow the barley to simmer (approx. 30-35 mins), stir occassionally.
Check on the barley every 5-10 mins, when the liquid seems to be absorbed add a bit more stock in and stir. If stock is out and the barley still seems a bit hard, you can use water and stir (starting to see a trend?). Avoid adding too much chicken stock or else the risotto will be salty.
Once the barley is roughly al-dente, pour in the mushrooms and cover with lid, let simmer for 5 mins, keep adding water if risotto is sticking to bottom of pot, yup and stir.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm as a side or even as an entrée, sprinkled with parsley and lemon over top!
*I’ve found that this goes great with salmon, simply sear the it with salt and pepper or you can get fancy and use different spices to create a salmon all your own.