10 Ways Tuesday: Barley

Barley (c)2011 LaDomestique.com

I’ve got creative ideas for cooking barley in autumn:

 

1.  Barley with Crisped Prosciutto and Truffle Oil

In this recipe from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, Maria Speck uses two types of barley: the whole grain hulled barley for it’s toothsome quality, and more processed pearl barley for creaminess. In her words, “Aromatic prosciutto, rosemary, and a drizzle of truffle oil transform humble, earthy barley into a side dish fit for royalty.” The barley is simply cooked, then crisped prosciutto and fresh rosemary are stirred into the pot. This luscious side dish would be nice with roast chicken or a good steak.

2.  Barley Salad

I’ve always loved autumnal salads made from healthy, hearty whole grains like barley, wheat berries, or farro. In my recipe box there sits a well-loved recipe from Cooking Light magazine for Toasted Barley and Apple Salad that’s perfect for fall. The barley is toasted in a dry pan before simmering in vegetable stock until tender. Slices of apple and chopped parsley and mint are tossed with the barley and the salad is dressed with an apple-honey vinaigrette. You can serve the salad warm, or pack it for lunch served chilled. Barley Salad with Parsley and Walnuts from Food & Wine is simple and refreshing with lemony flavor and ricotta salata.

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Ingredient of the Week: Barley

Ingredient Of The Week: Barley

The ingredient of the week  is barley, a hearty, healthy grain that’s perfect for autumn soups, warm salads, and much more. When the weather cools off and the sunlight is more golden I start to crave the nutty, sweet, wholesome flavor of barley. Often, we get stuck in a rut eating the same old oats or rice. Trying barley is a great way to shake things up in the kitchen. It goes so well with fall vegetables like butternut squash or fruits like apples. This week at la domestique we’ll learn about the different varieties of barley, from hulled barley to pearled barley to barley flour. Look for plenty of inspiration on cooking with barley tomorrow in 10 Ways Tuesday. I’ll have original recipes and creative ideas throughout the week. Barley is an ancient grain grown all over the world, and we’ll take a look at how different cultures like to prepare it. I’m excited to cook in the moment with you here at la domestique.com!

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This Past Week at La Domestique: Honey

Ingredient Of The Week: Honey (c)2011 LaDomestique.com

This past week at La Domestique was devoted to honey. We explored both the sweet and savory side of honey. Shopping at farmers markets is a great way to find honey that’s unrefined and therefore more flavorful and healthful. Look for varieties of honey made from local flora and fauna in your area. Recently I picked up some apple blossom honey from a local apple orchard that is especially delicious for fall. I hope this past week inspired you to try something new with honey.

In case you missed anything, I’ve got a recap:

Monday:  Announcing honey as the ingredient of the week.

Tuesday:  10 Ways Tuesday! Creative ideas for cooking with honey.

Wednesday:  Cook in the moment with a recipe for Seared Lamb Chops and Honey-Prune Sauce.

Thursday:  Learn the story of honey: the hive, harvesting, varieties and flavors, cooking and flavor pairing.

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Autumnal Walnut and Honey Soda Bread

I am so excited about this bread recipe I found in the River Cottage Bread Handbook! It’s quick, easy, and perfect for fall. Walnut and Honey Bread is a soda bread recipe made with whole wheat flour. No yeast, no kneading, no waiting for dough to rise. Just throw the ingredients into a bowl, stir to combine, shape into round loaves and bake. My husband grew up in Ireland, and soda bread is nothing new in our house. We go through times when we crave it and keep it on hand until we’re sick of it. The recipe for Walnut and Honey Bread is unique and a wonderful fall version of the classic that I can’t wait to make again.

Daniel Stevens uses one little technique I really like in this recipe. He instructs to crush half of the 7 ounces of walnuts into a powder with a mortar and pestle. It’s like making your own walnut flour. The other half of the walnuts are only lightly crushed so large chunks remain. He writes, “This gives the ideal combination-lots of flavor from the crushed nuts, and texture from the large pieces.” The resulting bread has an intense nutty flavor that’s really special. Oh, and don’t think I’ve forgotten it’s honey week here at la domestique. This bread recipe calls for 7 ounces of honey! I used a wildflower honey, and I think it would be great fun to experiment with different varieties to find the best flavor for this bread. I’ve got some apple blossom honey to try next time.

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Storyboard: Honey

Honey is a viscous, sweet liquid made by bees from the nectar and pollen of flowers. It’s usually named for the plant the pollen came from: orange blossom, buckwheat, clover, wildflower, alfalfa, heather, etc. Each of the hundreds of varieties of honey has it’s own unique flavor- hints of citrus, floral nuances, herbal notes, and even bitterness. For me, exploring honey is like tasting the terroir, or sense of place, in a wine-endlessly fascinating.

Lives of Bees

According to The Beekeeper’s Bible, there are at least four species of honeybees, if not more. Each species creates its own specific type of nest, differing in shape from one single comb to multiple smaller combs. Some bee species like to nest in hollow trees while other species prefer to nest in a cave roof. All honeybees are social insects, meaning they live in organized colonies and work together for the survival of the group.

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