Join us in Seal Beach
Thur. Jan 10th
Tue Jan 22
6:30 – 8:30, approximately
Pink Grapefruit, Avocado & Watercress Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Spaghettini with Vodka Cream Sauce
Winter Roasted Vegetables with Basil Vinaigrette
Lemon Curd Cream Puffs
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Temecula Olive Oil, 148 Main St. Seal Beach
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*See How to Cook Barley, Debskitchen.com
There are several types of barley, flaked, flour, grits, hulled, pearl and more. Most of the barley you’ll find in the supermarket is pearl barley or polished barley, which has had its hull removed, and most of the nutrients that go with that, but also reduces the cooking time (slightly). An un-hulled barley can take up to 20 minutes longer to cook but it’s an excellent source of fiber and keeps you fuller longer. Bob’s Red Mill has a great ‘hull-less’ barley that still contains the bran. It’s an ancient variety that grows in a loose hull thus saving much of the nutrition but it does take as long to cook as the un-hulled barley. Use 3 parts water or stock to 1 cup of barley; if using pearl barley start checking after about 20 minutes of cooking, barley can take up to 1 hour to cook. Try using a pressure cooker making a larger batch than you need and freezing the cooked barley in 1 or 2 cup packets for later use in soups or salads or as a side dish.
Some people like to soak their barley overnight or even for just a few hours. It doesn’t cut down much on cooking time and may alter the appearance or color of the grain but if you have trouble digesting whole grains this may work for you. Whole grains contain an anti-nutrient called phytic acid which binds with certain minerals (e.g. zinc, phosphorous, calcium and iron) and prevents them from being absorbed by the body. Phytic acid is also very hard on the digestive system. Most of the phytic acid is contained in the exterior bran and germ layers of the grain. Ironically, whole grains are much higher in minerals than polished or refined grains, but we won’t receive those benefits unless we neutralize the phytic acid. Soaking your grains before cooking them will neutralize the phytic acid and release the enzyme inhibitors, making them easier to digest and the nutrients easier to absorb. Soak overnight with a little squeeze of lemon juice or other acidic liquid (apple cider vinegar etc.), drain and rinse before using.
Photo: Christina Peters
I love fall and winter and I love to cook hearty stews and warming soups. One of the most important ingredients is stock or broth for your dish and homemade is the best. Most of the time spent making stock is hands off, it needs to simmer for a good 4 hours so prep time in the kitchen can be limited to about 1/2 hour. Cut most of that time in half by making the stock in your pressure cooker but I like the results better just simmered slowly on the back of the stove. (Besides it makes your house smell wonderful!) I’ve included a list of descriptives for stock, broth, stew, soup etc. And my recipe for a perfect stock; stock is made with bones and broth is made with pieces of meat and vegetables and is a little less hearty than stock. Keep some stock in your freezer for quick meals during the winter season. Recipe below but here are some descriptives of soups, stews etc.
Bisque: a rich, thick usually smooth soup. Thickened either by pureeing or adding cream and usually made with some kind of seafood.
Chowder: a thick, chunky soup
Stock: clear savory liquid made from vegetables or meat on the bone
Broth: similar to stock but made with just meat or vegetables, not a hearty as stock
Gazpacho: a cold vegetable soup usually with tomatoes as main ingredient
Gumbo: thick broth with creole seasonings and chunks of meat & vegetables
Stew: thick soup with chunks of vegetables and/or meat
Soup: thinner than a stew with less chunks
Guides for making stocks
Use mild flavored vegetables, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes
No oily fish such as salmon
Beef bones with marrow will have more flavor
Use chicken feet for great taste and lots of natural gelatin
Do not season stock with salt until after it’s cooked
For making soups or stews
Any fresh or frozen veggie can be used. Do not defrost vegetable before using, just toss it into the stock.
Onion, peas, broccoli florets, celery, carrots, potatoes (will help to thicken soup also), corn, zucchini, peppers
Basil, oregano, thyme, Italian parsley, crushed red peppers, Italian seasoning
Keep canned or frozen beans such as kidney, navy, white beans, pinto, black beans
Grains (pre-cook and freeze) Add at the end of cooking time
Farro, barley, rice, pasta, quinoa, beans
A perfect summer salad that you can make ahead; it actually is better the next day! An easy ‘from the pantry’ salad, adjust ingredients to what you have on hand, what you find from the farmers market or your own garden, or even some of last nights grilled chicken or shrimp. Serves 6
Barley photo credit, Fine Cooking. To read about barley follow this link, Fine Cooking-Barley
1 small red onion
2 small cucumbers
2 ribs celery
1 small jalapeno, optional
1 roasted red bell pepper
6 medium tomatoes
1 cup French bread, cut into cubes and soaked in a little water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lemon, zested
1 Tablespoon lemon juice, to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ Hass avocado, chopped
Rough chop the vegetables and add to a blender, for a chunkier texture process in a food processor instead of a blender.
Squeeze the water from the French bread cubes and add to a blender along with the vegetables. Add olive oil and vinegar and blend to a puree. Season with salt, pepper (if needed), lemon juice, zest and Worcestershire sauce. Refrigerate over night for best flavor.
To serve, check for seasoning again before pouring into a bowl. Garnish the top of the soup with the chopped avocado.
Goes very well with a nicely toasted slice of cheesy garlic bread.