Monday, September 27, 2010
Red Wine Barley Risotto and No Sugar Apple Butter
After breakfast Dan decided to head to his home office on the third floor and try to catch up on some paperwork. Before he headed upstairs we talked more about lunch. I liked his idea to use barley but I really wasn’t in the mood for barley soup. I suggested barley in the risotto style and he thought that sounded good. I used to make a red wine risotto so I decided to make that with barley for lunch. Since we also have fresh criminis and shitakes I thought they would be good on top of the barley. With the cooler temperatures I also though red cabbage would be good plus it gets another blue/purple veggies serving into us. Here is what I made today:
Red Wine Barley in the Risotto Style Topped with Mushrooms and Red Cabbage
½ red onion, finely minced
½ cup water to sauté the onion
1 ½ cups hulled barley
750ml bottle good red wine (I used an Amarone a northern Italian raisinated wine)
water necessary to fully cook barley (will be added slowly see instructions)
½ tablespoons fresh minced rosemary
black pepper to taste
½ red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup of water to sauté onions
½ pound crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ pound fresh shitake caps, thinly sliced (save stems in the freezer for mushroom stock)
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
½ tablespoon fresh minced rosemary
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup walnuts + ½ cup water processed in a blender until completely smooth
½ tablespoon arrowroot dissolved in ½ tablespoon of water
1 tablespoons chives, finely minced
2 tablespoons walnuts, roughly chopped
Sauté the onion in water until it is starting to get tender, about 3 minutes, add the barley and ¼ of the bottle of red wine. Stir to coat all the barley with the wine and cook over medium heat until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the rosemary and more wine and continue to cook. You will need to add all the wine plus more water to cook the barley until it is tender. This will take about 45 minutes. Before serving taste for seasoning and adjust to your taste.
For the topping water sauté the onions for 3 minutes then add the mushrooms, cabbage, rosemary and pureed walnuts. When the cabbage is lightly wilted add the arrowroot slurry. Taste for seasonings and adjust to your taste.
To serve top the barley with the mushroom topping and finish with chopped walnuts and chives. I considered topping this dish with a lightly dressed herb salad but changed to chives since fresh herbs are something that my mother tends to pick out of food. Before you ask I have no idea why she does that. Just another thing I need to be mindful of when cooking for her.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 618.83 **
Calories From Fat (18%) - 111.4
Total Fat - 13.3g
Saturated Fat - 1.38g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 40.73mg
Potassium - 1178.97mg
Total Carbohydrates - 81.27g **
Fiber - 18.01g
Sugar - 4.38g
Protein - 14.61g
** The total calories in this dish was overstated by the alcohol which was burned off during cooking. Since there is controversy on how much remains I left all the alcohol in the numbers above knowing it was too high.
Dan and I both really enjoyed this. The dish has a complex flavor that is dependent on the wine. This dish is very easy to make but you must use a wine you would drink by the glass. Cooking concentrates the flavor of the wine so only use one you love. We are big fans of red Italian wine which is why I used Amarone. Always taste the wine before you cook with it. If the wine has faults by the glass those will be more pronounced once you cook it and concentrate the flavor. From experience I can tell you that using bad wine will ruin a dish.
To accompany the risotto we also had a quick salad of romaine, thinly shaved carrot, cucumber and radish and diced tomato. I dressed this with the Dijon, red wine vinegar and stevia I mentioned yesterday. Sorry, I still didn’t measure anything for the dressing again today.
Dinner tonight was a big salad very similar to the one we had with lunch, only twice the size. Dan also had a bowl of leftover mushroom dahl from last night since he needed the calories. Eating more like me yesterday he dropped two pounds when he got on the scale this morning. *shakes head* Wouldn’t it be nice to lose weight as quickly as men seem to be able to, not that I will ever know. ;-)
About 45 minutes after the salad and dahl Dan wanted to have a big bowl of strawberry banana soft serve. As you can tell he loves that stuff. I had about ¼ cup of it which I did not photograph.
Since it is a weekday we are back to the grind first thing this morning. It is tough to get moving when it is dark and raining when you wake up. Like usual I was making fresh veggie and fruit juice for Dan to take to work with his lunch.
Due to the cold rainy weather this morning we decided a hot bowl of oatmeal was particularly appealing. The oatmeal this morning was topped with my homemade no sugar apple butter. This is a great use for the apple butter I think.
Making apple butter is more of a method than a recipe. I took 8 apples which I cored (but did not peel) and cut into chunks. I put the chunks in the Vitamix with the juice of one lemon (which is optional you could use water or white wine). Process everything until it is completely smooth. Pour the mixture into a low flat pan and cook over low heat, stirring often to make certain it doesn’t burn. Add any seasonings you like to taste. I used cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, and vanilla. Mine cooked for about 45 minutes in an enameled cast iron pan until it was thick and brown. In the past I would have added sugar or agave but we are so accustomed to food with sweetener now that the concentrated fruit was sweet enough.
Signing out for now:
I need to get moving this morning and stop lounging around. Monday is normally busy at my house catching up from all my relaxing on the weekend. However the cool weather and rain just makes me want to curl up on the sofa with a fuzzy throw and a book. Sort of like Nicco just add a book. He is on top of a micro fleece throw I picked up last week at Costco. They are very soft and machine washable if anyone is looking for a fuzzy throw, they are feline approved as you can tell.
Talk to you all again soon.