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Cook in Moment: Barley Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Barley Stuffed Portobello Mushroom (c)2011

Each week I contribute a column to “Whole Foods Market Cooking Boulder” expanding on one of my 10 Ways Tuesday ideas. This week I shared a recipe for Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Barley, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Rosemary served over a bed of sautéed kale. Stuffed vegetables like mushrooms, squash, or pumpkins are a delicious vegetarian simple supper for fall. For my recipe, plus information on the different types of barley, click on the icon below.


10 Ways Tuesday: Barley

Barley (c)2011

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.


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!


This Past Week at La Domestique: Honey

Ingredient Of The Week: Honey (c)2011

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.


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.


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.


Cook in the Moment: Honey

Seared Lamb Chops With Honey Sauce (c)2011

Each week I contribute a column to “Whole Foods Market Cooking Boulder” expanding on one of my 10 Ways Tuesday ideas. This week I was inspired by a savory recipe for honey prune sauce found in the October issue of Food & Wine Magazine. Find my recipe for seared lamb chops with garlic and rosemary and the details of the honey sauce by clicking on the Cooking Boulder icon below.


10 Ways Tuesday: Honey

YaYa-Apple-Farm-Bee-Hives (c)2011


I’ve got creative ideas for cooking with honey in autumn:


1.  Goat Cheese with Honey

I’ve written this often, the simplest things are the best. Give me beautiful ingredients, prepared straightforwardly, over a fancy multi-course meal any day. David Tanis’ cooking epitomizes this way of living. In his book, A Platter of Figs, David writes that in Catalonia, goat cheese is served with local honey for a light dessert. It’s important to select a good quality, flavorful honey to pair with the creamy goat cheese. This is a great opportunity to explore the nuances of honey, from chestnut to lavender to orange blossom. A few hazelnuts or walnuts strewn across the plate makes for a lovely end to the meal.

2.  Roasted Root Vegetables

Honey is a fitting partner for slightly sweet, earthy root vegetables of autumn. Carrots, parsnips, turnips, or squash glisten with a caramelized glaze in a hot oven. Mix all the veg together, or simply roast some carrots. I like the heady fragrance of rosemary with honey-glazed root vegetables. Maybe add some spice with a little cayenne or some fresh ginger?


Ingredient Of The Week: Honey

Ingredient Of The Week: Honey (c)2011

Autumn is the time of year for harvesting honey. The bees have built up their stores for the winter, and we can enjoy the fruits of their labor. I find honey endlessly fascinating. Like wine, it has terroir, or a sense of place. The flavor of honey depends on what plants the bees have gathered pollen from. It ranges from bright and sweet to pungent and bitter. Honey can taste herbal, like lavender, or medicinal, like eucalyptus. Orange blossom honey has the distinct citrusy flavor of orange, lime, and lemon trees. This week at La Domestique we’ll explore the different types of honey. It’s such a pleasure to discover the flavors and nuances of local honeys. You’ve got to pick the right honey for the job, and we’ll discuss cooking with this golden nectar in both sweet and savory dishes. Honey brings moisture as well as sweetness to baked goods, while bringing depth and a soft note  of sugar to savory meat dishes.


This Past Week at La Domestique: Apples


This past week at La Domestique was all about cooking with apples. I visited a local apple orchard, and the difference in taste from supermarket apples was substantial. Freshly harvested apples are crisp and juicy, with a sweet, floral aroma and full, bright flavor. Here at La Domestique we explored the different varieties of apples and how to use them in both savory and sweet cooking.


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


About Jess

Jess O'Toole is La Domestique

Hi, I’m Jess, aka La Domestique. No matter how busy or cooking-challenged you are I can help you live the good life and enjoy fresh, healthy meals at home every day. Find out more

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