Old folk at lunch

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Barley


A new taste sensation!  Last night I had a dinner that I had never tasted before.  I have been eating out off and on since I was 16 and I am now 73 so it is rare to find a dinner that is new to me.  I have eaten much from all the world's cuisines.  I have had Chinese food in Hong Kong, Philippine food in the Philippines, Mexican food in Mexico, South African food in South Africa, French food in France, Indian food in India and Indian food in England (don't mention English food).  And during my 15 years in Sydney just about all the world's foods were available right there anyway. So I was surprised to encounter a taste I had not had before

It all began when I somehow noted that people in Northern Europe grow and eat a lot of barley.  I had never had anything made from barley.  So I bought some. And I wandered around the net looking for barley recipes.  I found one that looked promising.  But it looked a bit complicated for me to make so I put off making it.  Eventually I told Anne that I was going to cook some barley for our next dinner.  She was amused.  She was even more amused when she saw the recipe.  "You'll never make that!", she said. She knows that most of my cookery is just heating up something already prepared by the chefs at Woolworths.

So in the kindness of her heart Anne offered to make it for me.  There was clearly a lot of time and work in the recipe so I gladly accepted her offer.

And I have just had the result.  It was very good.  On the plate it looked rather like savoury mince but the taste was quite different:  Not a strong taste; a subtle taste but very more-ish.  I am going to be asking Anne for more of it.  I got the recipe off the barley organization so I imagine I might be getting some free barley soon if Google leads them to this post.

The recipe is below.  Anne used pork mince and cut up the mushrooms finely. The recipe says "cooked barley" without explanation so Anne soaked it in for half a day and then boiled it until it was soft.   Anne was surprised about the amount of salt but it was OK.  Despite what the food freaks say, salt is good for you.

Barley Mushroom Stroganoff

Family favorite with a twist.

1 pound lean ground turkey, chicken
or beef
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon chicken seasoning base
2 cups low-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 cups cooked pearl barley*
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Spray large skillet with non-stick cooking
spray; heat over medium heat. Add ground
turkey; crumble and cook until turkey is no
longer pink. Remove from pan and drain.
Pour off liquid from pan. Add olive oil,
onion and mushrooms; saut‚ 4 to 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Season with oregano,
salt and pepper. Cook 4 more minutes. Stir
in water and chicken seasoning. Blend
together sour cream and flour. Stir in sour
cream mixture, cooked barley and meat.
Continue to cook over low heat until heated
through. Garnish with parsley, if desired,
and serve.

Makes 8 servings.


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