Barley, blue aprons and fun

Hi Folks-

What a steamy fall! I am so ready for that killing frost to wipe out the fruit flies, mosquitoes and house flies, blech!

I had a fun food weekend, a little outside of the ordinary. Firstly my sister, who is involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism (an enthusiastic group of medievalists) was throwing a medieval feast for 50 or so people. Chatting as we often do, I offered to make a barley dish. I must admit while I find reports of medieval dining fascinating and colorful they rarely sound that tasty to me. I think the combination of spicing (I have no idea if it’s true but I have always heard that the meats were heavily spiced to cover the somewhat rancid flavor) and at the other extreme very bland things like pottage have failed to get me excited about the period.

So I took it as a bit of a challenge to make a delicious but relatively authentic (ingredient-wise anyway), grain dish. I tested it on my ever tolerant family first and it got rave reviews so I made her an enormous batch that she simply needed to put together. It’s similar to a barely risotto but way easier to make (which is critical when cooking for fifty). Anyway the recipe is below and if you’d like to try it, I’ll have several 1 cup portions of barley for sale :-).

The other fun food thing, also a little out of the ordinary, was our Free week of Blue Apron, a home delivered meal kit. The deal is sixty bucks and everything you need for three meals for two people. I probably shouldn’t even be telling you about it ;-). At any rate we have cooked two of the three meals. They all sounded interesting and I have to say the packing and directions are very nice. We had a Basque cod with Freekah one night, which was quite tasty and we had a sauteed chicken with caramelized vegetables which was pretty much inedible. The quality of the chicken was super uninspiring. The directions are good, and I did appreciate not having to go to a store to try to find aged sherry vinegar or dried Spanish peppers so that was definitely a win. Fun to check out and I might buy a week again if I know I am going to be out straight but I think in general I’d rather get a little organized and do it myself.

RECIPE

Pearled barley 1 cup

garlic- minced 4 cloves

Onion, diced 1/2 of 1 large

Chicken Stock 3 cups

Sprigs of Thyme 2

Olive oil 2 tbl spoons

Mushrooms quartered 8 oz

Romano, finely grated 1/2 cup

Lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon

Heat 1 TBL oil in a medium sized sauce pan, saute until just translucent whole sprigs of thyme (more or less to taste) and barley, saute for another minute and add chicken stock. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes. While the barley is cooking saute mushroom in 1 tablespoon of oil until nicely done and add a tablespoon of butter if you’re feeling lux. When barley is done, pull out the thyme sprigs and stir in mushrooms, Romano and lemon juice. taste and adjust seasoning by adding, if needed, salt, pepper, more lemon juice or a touch more cheese. Serve immediately. Lovely side for four. Made with vegetable stock it doubles as a nice vegetarian entree. I made this with Romano and olive oil because my sister can’t do cow’s milk but feel free to change it up!

The fish tomorrow:

  • Dayboat Haddock

  • Icelandic Arctic Char

  • Swordfish

  • Alaskan Cod. Frozen at sea

  • Wild Alaskan King Salmon

  • Shetland Salmon

  • Yellow tail sole, dayboat

  • Albacore Tuna

  • 10/20 Dry Scallops

  • 16/20 Wild Gulf Shrimp

  • PEI Mussels

Day of the Week

Lunch Special

Soup Special

Dinner Special

Monday

Hot spice rubbed Salmon sandwich on a soft roll.

Clam Chowder

Italian meatloaf

Tuesday

meatball sub

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Shrimp Scampi

Wednesday

Grilled Ahi tuna steak sandwich

Lobster Bisque

Salmon Cakes with Caper mayo

Thursday

Bahn Mi, Vietnamese chicken sandwich

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Shrimp Quesadilla

Friday

Pulled pork sandwich, come early, it sells out!

Fish Chowder

Chef’s choice!

See you at the Store!

The Uncommon Market

The Store Worth Walking To

802.223.7051

www.uncommonmarket.net

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