Using up black barley

Black barley!

I wasn’t kidding when I said I’d use up my exotic grains in my FAQ. On Monday I cooked up a total awesome black barley risotto from Chef Josie Le Balch from Josie Restaurant in Santa Monica, CA. I can’t seem to find the recipe again online (only the video, which isn’t very helpful) so I’ll post it here for you:

Black Barley Risotto

1 cup black barley
3 cups chicken stock or water
1 oz butter
1 T diced garlic
1 T diced shallot
2 oz brandy
4 oz cream
2 oz Quicke's traditional english farmhouse cheddar
(another aged cheddar can be substituted)

Combine stock and barley. Simmer till barley turns
tender (1 1/2 to 2 hours). More stock may need to be
added so that it does not run dry. Strain barley
and let cool. In a saute pan cook garlic and
shallots in butter just till they start to
become fragrant. Add brandy (may flame up) and cook
until it is reduced by half. Add cream and heat until
the cream boils. Add barley and cheese. Heat until
the cheese melts then season with salt and pepper.

A couple notes: I didn’t cook the barley that long because my bag said to add it to boiling water and cook about 45 minutes. It was pretty chewy, and if I hadn’t been rushed I probably would have given it more time. Also I poured in 1 oz of sherry before I realized that sherry does not equal brandy and that I’d grabbed the wrong item! I didn’t taste the mistake, seemed really yummy to me and my kids gobbled it up. Also I think this would be a great way to do other grains, like farro, and brown rice. I plan on using this “risotto” technique again as I work my way through my pantry.

  1. makeitdo posted this


In 2012, I'm not going to buy anything except what I've used up or worn out. For all else, I'll make do with what I already own or I'll do without. I've come up with some guidelines. Update: for 2013 I'm going to continue along, but not as strictly.


I'm Meg Hourihan. I live in New York City but was raised in Massachusetts. I blame my Yankee-ness for this crazy idea. Read more about me and this project.


Some answers to frequently asked questions.


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