Most of us try to eat healthy. Most of us try to cook with a variety of grains. I’m a very firm believer in variety is good for the body and soul on so many levels. I really do enjoy barley … but it hardly ever appears on my table except in soup and a rare risotto. I had a half used package of prosciutto … yes I know prosciutto is a ham and not barley but just come along for a little will you, humor me … it was time to finish the package of prosciutto.
Enter from stage right: Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, a new book recently appearing on my book shelf. “Before it sits there so long it gets old and forgotten, perhaps it will have the perfect recipe using prosciutto.” And so it did … well it had one … a very simple thing – it’s one exotic ingredient (truffle oil) I was just out of. Without the truffle oil I determined it needed a little increase in flavor.
In addition to the bay leaf and rosemary called for in this, I used chicken stock to replace the water to cook the barley. So I cooked a cup of barley. Then it called for Prosciutto to be crisped in a little olive oil. When ready to serve mix it all together. No truffle oil to finish the dish with … ah, ha a teaspoon of butter. That’s simple. OK but that’s not really dinner is it? The flavor was excellent. Prosciutto and barley needs veggies! What’s in the refrigerator … I wish I could ask what’s ready in the garden but the answer wouldn’t really help since there’s jalopeno and herbs? In my refrigerator on this day there was asparagus and broccoli. Both went in for the last 8 minutes the barley simmered.
Now, perhaps you may think that because I really redid the recipe, the book might be a waste. I would disagree. Without the book, I don’t think I’d ever have gotten to this dish. Any cookbook that provides me with a jump into new territory is good with me.
The consequences: the next morning it became a wonderful breakfast;-)
Stay tuned for further barley consequences …
Barley w Crisped Prosciutto
Ancient Grains for Modern Meals p 140
July 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm
Aw fiddle, I have cupboards of cookbooks but this one looks great too. (I paged through the look inside feature on amazon, wow, beautiful photography!) I’ve been trying to go more towards ancient grains as opposed to modern wheat and refined grain products anyway. So on my list this one goes. 😀 Thanks for sharing, I even have half a bundle of asparagus left over from yesterday. 😉
July 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm
I think cubed ham would be excellent in this and so would roasted tofu. Plenty of other veggies would compliment this well.
As to “cupboards of cookbooks” well, yes, and I’m happy to provide temptation 😉
July 13, 2012 at 5:20 pm
I love barley. I always have it on hand, and I’m always looking for new ways to use it. This recipe sounds delicious and versatile!
July 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm
I guess you could call it a recipe, it just sort of seemed to put itself together. Those are the best kind aren’t they.
July 14, 2012 at 6:48 am
I’m with you. A cookbook is just a guideline. I’m a fiend for following instructions and measuring but even I am pretty much incapable of following a recipe exactly.
I’ve never been a fan of prociutto – no smoky flavour – this sounds like a great way to use it up. And what a fabulous idea for breakfast!
As for truffle oil, we made a not unreasonable substitute using dried mushrooms and the recipe for Xiang Gu You (Mushroom Infused Oil) in SAVEUR magazine, Issue #140.
July 14, 2012 at 8:01 am
Now have the recipe for the Mushroom infused oil! That looks really nice.
July 15, 2012 at 9:49 am
It’s really good. We’ve made it with and without Szechuan peppercorns and while both are delicious, we prefer it without the Szechuan peppercorns (mostly because then it’s not necessarily an Asian flavouring) And we’ve made it with shitakes and dried portobellos. Either mushroom works beautifully – even though the shitakes are a bit more delicate.
Here’s our take on the SAVEUR recipe: http://etherwork.net/blog/?p=1421
July 15, 2012 at 9:52 am
oops! I see that we used fresh mushrooms and that the dried mushrooms didn’t work so well. (Clearly, it’s time to make more mushroom infused oil)
July 15, 2012 at 11:21 am
Cookbooks are guidelines usually. I know my latest vintage recipe is going to have go the way of tweaking. It’s the tweaking that makes it ours anyways. Good for you for making it YOUR recipe 🙂
July 15, 2012 at 9:16 pm
Sounds wonderful, especially nice since I have some barley in the fridge…although no proscuitto…might have to use bacon or maybe mushrooms for flavor…I agree that cookbooks help launch me into trying new things…and so do you!
July 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm
Now there’s a heady thought: that I could launch you into trying new things, you’ve made my month 😉
Bacon would be excellent as would mushrooms or ham. I’m trying some spinach next time.
July 16, 2012 at 5:30 am
I use my cookbook as a guide and really love to create a whole new recipe out of them. That’s excellent made with barley!