Re: Cooking hulled barley?
at Mon, 13 Feb 2006 02:29:31 GMT in <scrvu154m79sbc6s682li03tg589nuepnm@
(Christine Dabney) wrote :
>I am trying to eat healthier these days...
>I found some hulled barley (NOT pearled) in Whole Foods today, and I
>got it to try it . I have been googling for recipes and ways to cook
>it. So far, it seems like it will take a long time to cook. Most
>sites suggest that it will take at least 1 hour and 15 minutes to
>cook, and usually longer, up to 2 hours.
2 hours is typical. There's no real way to speed up the process.
>That seems to be when it is
>cooked like rice. I have been trying to find recipes for it, other
>than just cooking it like plain rice.
IMHO cooking it like plain (long-grain) rice is a bad idea. Hulled barley
absorbs water more gradually and requires long, slow cooking, similar to
what you would do for a braise. Lots of water, too - 4 cups of water for 1
cup of hulled barley.
>Has anyone cooked with hulled barley? If so, have you ever fixed it
>like a pilaf?
You wouldn't do it like that because it doesn't turn out dry and fluffy, it
turns out creamy and chewy, like a risotto. You can use it in exactly the
same way you would a risotto, with good results. You can also use it as a
base for hearty stews - either with meat or meatless.
Hulled barley is my favourite grain, without any question whatsoever. One
recipe I do all the time is as simple as pie:
1/2 cup hulled barley
1/2 cup dry beans (lentils or kidney beans seem best)
3/4 lbs carrots
5 stalks celery
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne
5 large sprigs cilantro
In separate pots, put the barley and the beans. (If using lentils, you can
start the lentil pot much later). Add 2 cups water to the barley, and as
much as required for the beans - generally 2 cups for kidney beans, 1 1/4
cups for lentils. Heat both at gentle heat, just at a simmer, for about 2
hours or so. When the barley has absorbed most of the water, chop carrots
and celery to mirepoix size, and mix in along with the spices. After the
vegetables have softened, mince the cilantro leaves, then mix them and the
beans (which should be cooked by now) into the barley. Serve. Serves 4.
In the risotto-like category, try using mushroom stock along with some
chopped mushrooms and peas added right near the end (don't, however, add
cheese with this one - not so good).
There are numerous things you can make along similar lines. Hulled barley
is sufficiently satisfying and hearty to stand as a main dish on its own,
btw - what I've outlined above, scaled up in portion size, would be just
fine as a main dish.
When combining with meat, lamb is unquestionably the best match. The
combination seems made for each other. Hulled barley is also one of the
grains that can hold its own against mutton, because it works well with the
latter's need for long cooking times.
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