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What's for Dinner? part 78 (Old)

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What's on the communal table tonight?

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  1. Well, it was a mixed verdict on my call for dinner. Herself thought it not very good. And himself thought it really, really, not very good.

    Pearl barley cooked in onion, coriander, chicken stock , seasoning and thyme. When it was cooked through a big handful of spinach went in along with some lemon juice and zest. Meanwhile, pork fillet marinated in red wine vinegar and garlic and then went under the grill.

    Yep, it was another of those magazine recipes. The sort you try just to avoid doing the same old thing on a Wednesday night.

    The marinade for the pork did absolutely nothing for it. Now, in my mind, there's nothing like a pearl barley risotto. And this was nothing like a pearl barley risotto, if you see what I mean. It was OK, but could have been much better. Reminds us that we should cook it more often - and just stick to good earthy flavours.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      Does anyone know how pearl barley compares to say, arborio rice, in terms of net carbs?

      1. re: gembellina

        If you're controlling for carbs, just eat the one you like; they're both high, but arborio is higher in carbs and lower in fiber. The softer they get, the more rapidly digested they are.

        1. re: mcf

          Thanks - not what I wanted to hear but I live in eternal hope!

          1. re: gembellina

            The barley is 44 grams per cup, cooked, 6 gms fiber. I think the arborio was 66 gms per cup, 3 gms fiber. If you cook it al dente and eat only 1/4 C...

            1. re: mcf

              I'm not being super-strict but generally trying to reduce. Barely can go along with everything else in the "eat occasionally" pile - I don't think I can stop myself at 1/4C!

              1. re: gembellina

                I just stopped eating starches completely, years ago, pretty much. Easier that way, no longer miss them. If you're just trying to cut back, 1/2 cup of al dente barley is the better bet of the two, and much better than a whole cup. :-)

      2. re: Harters

        So how do you make a proper barley risotto? I used to make a barley and wheat berry thing that was quite good, but that was a pilaf.

        1. re: buttertart

          Almost exactly as we'd make one with arborio rice. Base of softened onion and a good splash of wine and in with the barley. The only difference is that we'd add the stock all in one go, rather than a ladle at a time. Takes a bit longer to cook through to "al dente".

          1. re: Harters

            Sounds good. Himself is partial to barley.

            1. re: Harters

              You crack the Fuchsia D book yet? man I love that one.

              1. re: buttertart

                Nah. Not yet. I'm very anal about my book reading. All new ones go on the shelf and are read in order of receipt. There are several cheap trashy crime novels and John Torode's "Chicken and other birds" to get through first.

                I've persuaded herself that she will lurrrve your lions head meatballs so expect that upcoming soonish.

                1. re: Harters

                  Good! You've mentioned your anality, I couldn't stand the wait myself.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    All this talk of proper risotto......

                    .......prompts me to cook one that's been in the "to do "file for a while. Absolutely standard prep for the rice and, towards the end, almost a whole tin of chestnuts get crumbled in. Parmesan, chopped parsley and a couple of thinly sliced chestnuts make for pretty decoration on top.

                    There's some salad leaves in the fridge and a tin of buckling in the cupboard. Sounds like a bit of a starter with a drizzle of oil and a squeez eof lemon.

                    Simples.

                    1. re: Harters

                      Oh now that's REALLY up his street, he's a huge chestnut fan (as am I). Thanks!!!
                      Must post the redcooked pork recipe from Dunlop's Hunan book, super with chestnuts added. They're big in Chinese cooking.

          2. It was going to be paella, but then the weather took and unexpected turn for the better, and on the fly, we're going to grill those ingredients and make shrimp fajitas with black beans, avocados, tomatoes and lettuce. Yum.

            1 Reply
            1. re: roxlet

              Oooh. Paella. Love the combination of flavors. :-)

            2. Leftover broccoli quiche and a green salad.

              1. We're having a potluck dinner for the school moms tonight and I'm bringing a roasted pork loin with rosemary, sage, and garlic, and some devilled eggs. Don't know what else is on the menu.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Euonymous

                  that pork sounds good. and of course, deviled egss, can't go wrong there.

                2. This flu is weird. Yesterday, I took a turn for the worse, and changed the menu to better suit the energy level. I wound up making steamed broccoli, and a creamed spinach (with onions, garlic, basil, and sundried tomatoes) that I served with a cheesy garlic bread. Why is crispy bread spread with 'stuff' so endlessly comforting to me? I credit the bread for my recovery. I felt *fine* today, well enough to keep a brunch date, clean the house, and get the marketing done. I still have a terrible cough (and the owner of the breakfast place appeared to be holding her breath while she served us, and backing away quickly, instead of staying to chat with us like usual), but I feel better than I have in a week.

                  We were going to order in, but the thought of making pizza crept into my head while we were doing some marketing today. The boyfriend is doing his usual margherita, but I am debating. I have quite a bit to choose from for the toppings, and am debating either a tomato and olive pizza . . . or olives and sardines (I now will stop using the word 'pizza'). Or clam . . . bread. Or an all pepper . . . bread. Either way, more crispy bread with stuff for me. Just to be on the safe side.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: onceadaylily

                    I've decided to cook minced garlic and diced vine-ripe tomatoes in olive oil, with some fresh thyme, turn off the heat, and toss in some black olives and clams, and then add the whole lot to the dough, before I add the cheese (mozz and parm). I think this calls for a white wine.