Monday, February 25, 2008

Platinum Chef Challenge Part 1

Platinum Chef Challenge

So another challenge presented itself. I decided to take another stab at the challenge. The ingredients chosen were intriguing. This was a good tasting dish and pretty healthy. To think risotto without any cheese or butter, you are doing pretty good. I was surprised how long the barley took to cook though. This dish probably took close to an hour to complete. But I am excited to try other risottos substituting barley for the rice.

These are the ingredients this time:

*Butternut Squash

The first recipe I chose was for a Butternut Squash & Barley Risotto
I found this by googling the ingredients of Butternut Squash and Barley. This recipe comes from Parade.Com. (In red are the changes that were made. )

Butternut Barley Risotto

1 butternut squash (about 11⁄2 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 11⁄2-inch pieces

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 cup diced (1/4 inch) plum tomatoes

5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 cinnamon stick (3 inches long) (This was omitted)

2 Tbs Vanilla (this was added)

1 cup pearl barley, rinsed

4 tablespoons chopped parsley (This was omitted)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Blanch the squash in boiling, salted water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and reserve. (this actually took more like 15 minutes)

2. Place the oil in a pot over low heat; add the onion and cook until tender, stirring, 10 to 15 minutes. (Add the vanilla and stir for a minute) Add the tomatoes; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, simmer the broth.

4. Stir the barley into the onions and tomatoes, coating well with the oil. Raise the heat to medium.

5. Stir 1/2 cup of the br oth into the barley mixture; cook, stirring frequently, until it has been absorbed into the barley. Repeat, making sure each addition of broth is absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup, until the barley is tender and most of the broth has been used, about 45 minutes.

6. Carefully fold in the reserved butternut squash. Cook until the barley reaches the desired consistency, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. (Add one more Tbs of Vanilla and stir) Serve immediately.

7. While eating it was apparent something was missing. So cinnamon was sprinkled on top and stirred in.

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