Friday, February 16, 2007

Never say never...

As you've read before, Jeff claims to not care at all for mushrooms - but every once in a while I will set aside a recipe that includes them to try and prove him wrong. Tonight's dinner, One-Dish Barley, Wild Rice, and Chicken Pilaf, uses dried porcini mushrooms which I even bought in front of him at the market... he gave "the look" and told me to have a back-up ready as he was sure he would not like whatever I was making.

The dried mushrooms are re-hydrated in a bowl of hot water while you prep the rest of the ingredients. This dish is composed of onions, garlic, pearl barley, wild rice, fresh thyme, chicken broth, chunky pieces of cooked chicken and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. While it does not have that lush creaminess that risotto has, it is in a way similar with the cheese stirred in at the end to imitate that velvety texture - you then get the benefit of not having to stand at the stove and stir. Tender barley brought a hearty chew to the dish with the onyx rice lending a subtle nutty flavor. The soft porcini mushrooms brought roots to the pilaf with a mild earthy flavor and blended in well - so well in fact that after Jeff proclaimed this recipe as gratifying and delectable. I then got this big grin on my face and said "Haha... guess what you just ate!" After a second he realized this was the mushroom dish he was originally trying to veto and with a scrunched up face said "but... but... I don't like mushrooms!" Well guess what - maybe you do! Slowly, but surely we are branching out and finding we do like ingredients that would have never come across our plates a couple years ago!

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