Well, that constant contributer to blogs, Anonymous, claimed on The Gobbler's site that risottos were the hoax of the century. I would like to disprove that claim but don't want to use Gobbler's bandwidth to find out more details of Anonymous' likes and dislikes before preparing a dish that may change their mind.
In the meantime, I made a barley risotto with mushrooms in the Thermomix a couple of weeks ago, so I will publish that & then let Anonymous tell me what flavours they like to find something to possibly please them, and hopefully some other passing by this blog.
I am not sure when I first had barley risotto, but it was a long time ago. I have had many versions and even seem to recall having it at Tetsuyas, so if that was the case then it can't be too bad.
The slightly chewy texture and nutty flavour that barley has, really makes it a delicious grain and a great substitute for rice in risottos.
One problem with barley is that it is best to be soaked overnight, so not the sort of dish to just come home & whip up. Use rice for that time. There is a recipe in August Australian Gourmet Traveller for a brodo with barley and spinach, which does not soak the barley first, yet is cooked in 12 minutes. I'd like to see that. I will have to try it out and get back to you.
Thermomix Barley Risotto
1 cup pearl barley
50g Parmesan cheese, cut into 1-2cm cubes
1 onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups vegetable or beef stock
Freshly ground black pepper
1 MC (100ml)cream (optional)
Fresh parsley or spring onion.
Soak barley in water overnight.
Next day, strain off the water and leave the barley aside.
In a dry TM bowl, place the Parmesan cheese and blitz for 15 seconds at speed 9. Remove and keep aside.
Place the onion and garlic in the TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 7, scrape down after 5 seconds for best results. Add the olive oil and saute for 4 minutes at 100ºC on speed 1.
Place mushrooms into TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 5. Check to see how well chopped they are and if there are still large chunks go for another 5 - 10 seconds on speed 4 or 5.
Add drained barley and stock to the TM bowl and cook for 20 minutes at 100ºC on Reverse speed 1. Check to see if the barley is soft, but chewy. You may need slightly longer.
Add the grated Parmesan, pepper and cream if you are using and mix for 10 seconds on reverse speed 4. This should make it creamy and mimics the mantecare technique used to make risottos creamy.
Check for salt levels and then serve with a sprinkling of parsley or spring onion.