Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gray Gruel 3.6.2010

It was more gray in person. It lived up to it's name a little more the next day when the soup had thickened and was very pasty and ... gruel-like. Globular even. (ha. glob. I like that word. It's one of those words that sounds and looks like what it means.) was tasty though. Really, really tasty. Sergio hates soup and he had seconds AND he couldn't wait to eat the globular leftovers the next day. There were many flavor levels, some nicely subtle like the black egg and tarragon. The barley had a nice texture. It took a long time to cook and a lot more chaperoning than I expected. The bare fridge and mostly bare cupboards had me pulling together these misfit ingredients:
  • 3 Purple potatoes, cut into medium chunks
  • A handful of Pearl Barley
  • A smaller handful of Frozen Peas
  • 32 ounce carton of low sodium chicken stock
  • Large pat of unsalted butter
  • A smaller pat of Maple Butter (I happened to have this still from Thanksgiving. I tasted it first - yep, still good.)
  • A few cloves of Garlic, small bits
  • 1 1000 Year Old Egg, cut into small chunks
  • 2 Eggs
  • Dried Tarragon (I'm not experienced to know if the fresh kind would have made a difference. Though, I bet fresh would have to be added way later in the process.)
  • Dried Parsley
I apologize but I don't have any real cook times or accurate heat levels...and yes, salt was omitted on purpose. I'm consciously cooking with less salt these days. It was a perfect one-pot meat. Less pans to wash is a good thing, right? I used a deep, medium sized saucepan/pot.
  1. Saute barley in butter with garlic - medium heat.
  2. Add potatoes.
  3. Tarragon and parsley. I like tarragon so I added a lot.
  4. Maple butter.
  5. Chicken stock.
  6. Bubble until barley is not crunchy -- stir! Potatoes and barley will stick. This took forever. Damn that barley. I suppose cous cous or even rice would have been faster. But I like barely. You'll want to add about a cup of water, maybe more as you stir and it starts to thicken.
  7. Peas. Turn down heat a notch.
  8. 1000 Year old Egg. :)
  9. Break in two eggs. It will just sit on top of the thick soup. Break the yolk, stir but don't fully incorporate. Keep the heat low until most of the egg is cooked.
  10. Turn off heat but leave covered - the residual heat should cook the rest of the egg.
Yuuummmmy. I don't know if I'll ever recreate this meal. I sure hope so.

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