Wednesday 20 November 2013

Mushrooms and Pearl Barley with Macadamia Bread Sauce

From The Blue Ducks, Mark Labrooy and Darren Robertson, Plum, 2013.

I’ve never been to The Blue Ducks restaurant but the message is that it is well worth the visit. I settled for the cookbook. It is not vegetarian but there are ample recipes included that are. It is a large size book that, though it takes up space, makes reading the recipes very comfortable. Included are pages of lifestyle, personal philosophy as well as comments about cooking and the restaurant.
I’m in a pearl barley phase so tried out this recipe. The barley had to be cooked first so 100g of it were placed into a saucepan of boiling salted water. It was brought to a simmer and cooked for half an hour when the barley was tasted and proved to be cooked.

A bread sauce was made while the barley was cooking. About 150g sourdough bread was cut into pieces and added to the blender with 100ml water, a little olive oil, a good dash of white wine vinegar, juice of ½ lemon, a small garlic clove and 5 macadamia nuts. It was processed until smooth. Salt and pepper were added to taste and a little more olive oil added to liquidise the sauce a little more.
Now the barley was drained and placed on the heat with a little olive oil, salt and pepper added with some chopped parsley. The heat was kept low while the mushrooms were cooked.

Oyster mushrooms and Swiss brown mushrooms, 100g of each, were sliced and added to a pan with a sliced shallot and a little oil and sautéed for a few minutes until cooked.
Some sauce was now placed on the side of a serving dish and the barley spooned on. The mushrooms were spread on top with a little more parsley.
I did enjoy this. The barley is a grain that I enjoy because it had a texture that feels good as you bite into it. The mushrooms are wonderfully savoury and the bread sauce imparted a lemon tang.
Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔ 

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