Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Yeah, I'm posting two nights in a row.  Don't die from the shock.

But as I have said here before, I can only post when the mood strikes me.  Bring on the wine!

I had the great luxury of getting my hair cut and colored today.  Well, it isn't so much a luxury anymore as it is a necessity.  I am probably totally gray, but trust me, I will never, EVER know for sure.  Thanks to my wonderful friend Charlene, I can keep these long, red locks flowing.  Long, straight and sexy hair -- oh yeah!

As I sat with all of those chemicals on my head, I perused the latest copy of Bon Appetit.  Mind you, while I lamented the demise of Gourmet in an earlier post, I had not renewed my Bon Appetit subscription.  I mean, how many recipes do I need, really?

So I thumbed through the December issue.  My plan was to hit Whole Paycheck Foods afterwards and pick up something to make for dinner.  I came across their recipe for Barley and Mushroom Stew (at least I think that's what they called it - I don't really know).  I had a pad in my purse, so I scribbled down the basics. 

Fast forward to this evening.  While listening to Obama lay out his strategy for Afghanistan, I quietly put the ingredients together.  As always, I will refrain from political comment here but I guess it is safe to say that I still have a lot of mason jar cakes to send to our troops over there.  Again, no further comment.

But the barley and mushroom stew?  Oh yeah!  It was comforting, it was healthy and it was DELICIOUS! I was so happy about it that I had to share the recipe  - immediately!  It gave me great comfort on a night when I needed it.

So here it is:

Barley and Mushroom Stew (Adapted from Bon Appetit)

1 T. olive oil
2 leeks, sliced and washed
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
1 cup pearl barley
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 cups chopped kale
2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Heat olive oil in a saute pan.  Add leeks and cook over medium-low heat until wilted.  Add mushrooms and season well with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring often until mushrooms are tender.  And garlic and rosemary and cook for 1 minute more.

Add barley and stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook until barley is tender, about 15 minutes.  Add chopped kale, cover again and simmer until kale is tender, about 10 minutes.  Add vinegar.

Season well again with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Spoon into bowls and top with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Yield:  6 servings

Take great joy in comfort food these days.
And this is comfort food that is guilt-free!

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