Dear Old Barley!

I hated it in stews, those little squishy blobs that would stick to my teeth, I couldn't stomach Barley at all unless it was mixed with sugar, rolled to an inch of its life, wrapped in plastic and sold for tuppence in the local chemist...
Then I kept seeing it pop up in the modern recipes, everyone was raving about it, everyone loved it... Barley, Barley, Barley!

So I thought, Okay, it must be good, it must have something to offer.


I came, I ate, I didnae likey!

I'm sure... I know...  Its definatley up some peoples alleys, just not mine.  There is a musty smell from it that I dislike, it lingers in my nose too long... and the texture?  Yack yack! Its rubbery, its smooth, like a mouth full of tiny balloons.

Before you mail me wailing about how I mustn't have cooked it correctly, how it is truely the most wonderful thing... Don't bother, really I did do it the justice it probably deserves! How do I know? Because everyone else in the house absolutley LOVED it! Bar me, the whole family are now barley addicts, going through cold turkey mind because I am never putting myself through that again!
For the Barley lovers out there... here is my recipe for Creamy Barley Risotto... Serve with white fish if you can, or topped with pickled quails eggs!... and Enjoy!

You'll need (serves 4 as a side dish)
250gms pearl barley 
A glass of white wine
1 large onion, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 stick of celery, chopped finely
Some olive oil
500mls chicken stock
100gms creme fraiche
100gms parmesan cheese, ground
Fry the onions, celery and garlic lightly in the oil and add the barley.  Allow the barley to colour slightly before adding a glass of white wine and about a quarter of the stock.  The good thing about barley vs rice is that it doesn't need constant stirring because there is little starch.  

Keep adding the stock, as normal with risotto, until its gone, then test the barley between your teeth, you should be able to bite it in half with effort, it shouldn't smush.  If its not ready, top up with hot water.  

When you are happy with the barley, add the cheeses and serve!!!


Ciara said...

Oh brilliant! I love barley!

And my friend Michelle made a barley risotto for us one time and I keeping thinking about it and about making one. And now thanks to you I have no excuse! Hurray!

Emily said...

haha poor Lisa. At least you tried it. After years of bad memories most people wouldn't.

Lo said...

Sorry, Lisa. But, I have to agree with Emily -- you're brave to give it another go.

Obviously, I'm a fan of barley... pearled barley more specifically. Might that make a difference? :)

Lisa said...

Lo - it was actually your jambalaya that put me in mind to use it! I just don't like the squashiness!!!

Emily - I would eat it again, I just wouldn't make it again!

Ciara - Let me know how it turns out!!!!

rachel said...

I say don't fight it or try to justify it- hate barley with pride! One of the most interesting things in the world are people's individual tastes- one man's meat is another's poison etc.....
PS I'm not of a barley fan myself