Tuesday, September 22, 2009

One of those days.

Today, on this second day of fall, is the two year mark of our wee Maggie passing. Oh how I miss our wee pup. She was such a good and loyal dog - better than that - a good and loyal friend. She had such a great character - she definitely played a huge part in my life and in so many others. I know that she is looking down on all of us - probably hanging with my dad - and singing up a song.

Second day of fall - and I got something funky going on. I stayed home with what I think may be a sinus or inner ear infection. I have had the 'dizzies' and a bit of a fever. Good times. I did manage to have a bit of a sleep in - but as per usual - I can't laze around for too long. So, I did get caught up on all the laundry. Hello clean underwear and socks!

Although I wasn't 100% today - I have been planning on making Barley Risotto - and had fresh asparagus from the Root Cellar - so today was a perfect day for some good comfort food. My new addiction - although I have only cooked with it a couple of times - I love it so. I did a little research online and found that Barley is really good for you.

- rich in vitamins, protein, minerals and amino acids
- one of the riches sources of soluble and insoluble fiber
- rich in tocotrienols - an antioxidant which helps lessen the risk of contracting heart disease and cholesterol problems

I'm sold.

Risotto is such a rich and delicious dish - it takes time to make and you really have to commit to 30 minutes of watching over it. Don't get me wrong - I make it from time to time (not often) - and I love it - but this Barley Risotto is so good, and so easy. You don't have to stand over it stirring continuously. 

I found the recipe online - and altered it a bit. I really loved it, and will definitely be making it again. 

Barley Risotto

1 onion - chopped
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup of pearl barley
1/2 cup of white wine
3 1/2 cups of chicken stock - try and use the low sodium - it tastes just as good - and is healthier
3/4 pound of asparagus - boil or steam for about 3-4 minutes. Chop into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Juice of half a lemon

In a large heavy bottomed pot - melt the butter and add the onion and saute for about 7 minutes. Add barley and coat in the onions, add the wine and stir carefully to coat everything in the wine. Add the 2 1/2 cups of the chicken stock (save a cup) - cover and let simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. 

Once the barley has absorbed all of the stock, add the remaining stock - 1/4 cup at a time. Ensure that you stir in all of the stock so that it is fully absorbed before adding the next 1/4 cup. Once all of the stock is absorbed, remove from the heat - add the asparagus, the juice of the lemon and the parmesan cheese. 

Voila - it's done. Serve with a bit of parmesan cheese as a garnish.

I hope that you give this a try. It's delicious.

Ok - off for the night. 


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