Barley & Shiitake Mushroom Risotto
I don’t know about you, but I am a Food Network junkie. I fall asleep every night to whatever is on that station. Sunday mornings, you will find Guy Fieri cooking from his home on TV, and this was one of the recipes I knew I had to make for my family. I paired it with a pork tenderloin, but I think it would go great with steak, chicken or even alone as a main course.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup pearled barley
2 tablespoons of minced shallots
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 Vidalia onion diced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lb. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stropped
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
6 cups of chicken stock (preferably homemade)
For the risotto: Add the olive oil to a large bottomed saucepan set over medium high heat. When hot add the barley and saute until lightly toasted about 2-3 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, onion and salt. Cook stirring often with wooden spoon until the shallots become translucent 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the shiitakes and thyme leaves and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Next start ladling the chicken stock one ladle full at a time. Keep adding one ladle at a time until it has been absorbed by the barley. It is important to keep stirring in order for the barley to release its starch.
When the barley is tender and all or most of the stock has been used, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the butter, Parmesan and parsley. Transfer to a platter or bowl and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately!
Serve with crusty Italian bread. Enjoy!