No need to stir as often as Italian-style risotto; try this ersatz risotto
(a fairly simple concoctionwild rice is a special touch which makes this great for entertaining)
Have adapted this recipe for the rice cooker. If you do not have one, no problem. As a simple, side dish, this risotto still
deserves a try, with or without a rice cooker!
Barley-Wild Rice Risotto
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
¾ cup medium pearled barley +(see note below about barley)
¼ cup wild rice, rinsed
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or homemade chicken stock)
2 cups water (or, another two cups of homemade chicken stock)
1 cup shallots, peeled, separated into sections
¾ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
Toast the barley and wild rice in butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan until barley begins to brown, about five minutes.
Add wine and simmer until reduced by half, about three minutes.
Add broth and water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Add shallots, cook 25 to 30 minutes more, until liquid has completely evaporated.
Before serving, stir in the freshly grated Parmesan cheese, finely chopped fresh parsley and softened butter.
Serve as a bed for beef stroganoff or as an accompaniment to lamb chops, pork chops or other grilled meat.
Yield: Single recipe serves 3 adequately; 4 barely. (This recipe doubles nicely.)
To make with your rice cooker, just do the following —
Melt butter in olive oil in inner container of rice cooker right on your cooktop, using low flame. Toast the barley and wild rice in the inner container of the rice cooker until barley begins to brown, about five minutes (ten if you double the recipe). This mixture will have a slightly nutty aroma as it begins to brown.
Add wine and simmer until reduced by half, about three minutes (eight to ten minutes if you double the recipe). Watch carefully and stir frequently during this step; cooking until it appears liquid is almost all absorbed.
Place inner container of rice cooker into outer container. Add chicken broth and water. Add shallots; in this rice-cooker version they cook in the mix the entire time. Cover, plug in and push button on rice cooker. Soon after the button pops up, just prior to serving, add Parmesan cheese, parsley and softened butter to the risotto, stirring gently to keep shallots intact.
A note about timing — When we doubled this recipe, it took about one hour from the time button was pushed until the button popped up. The smaller amount takes as long. To make this recipe for 4 people, just increase barley to 1 cup and wild rice to 1/3 cup, and adjust all other ingredients proportionally. Cooking time will not be greatly affected by this change. Grated cheese and chopped parsley are added just prior to serving.
+Barley is used primarily in beer production now. However, it is a great base for a side dish. One of our oldest favorites is
Barley-Mushroom Casserole. Above, a new recipe we are trying, just be sure to buy medium-sized pearled barley, not instant.
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