LEEK AND KALE PEARL BARLEY RISOTTO WITH CRISPY BACON – Serves 4
3 leeks, finely sliced
oil for frying
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
150g. bacon lardons or bacon chopped into small pieces
250g. pearl barley
1 litre chicken stock
200g. chopped curly kale
3 tbsps. creme fraiche
juice of 1 lemon
finely chopped parsley (optional)
- Heat a glug of oil in a large, deep frying pan and add the leeks. Fry for 3 – 4 minutes, then add the garlic, half the bacon and the pearl barley. Gently fry for a further 2 – 3 minutes, then slowly start to add the chicken stock.
- As the pearl barley absorbs the stock, keep slowly adding more. When three quarters of the stock has been added (this will take 15 – 20 minutes) pour in the remaining stock, then gently simmer until the barley is cooked (another 10 – 15 minutes).
- Meanwhile, in a small frying pan cook the remaining bacon and set aside. Stir the kale into the barley in batches and simmer for a few minutes.
- Season to taste, stir in the creme fraiche and lemon juice then serve up sprinkled with parsley if you wish.
You can, of course, make this dish vegetarian by omitting the bacon.
You get more juice from a lemon if you roll it first, don’t ask me why, I was taught that tip at Catering College.
If rice risottos frighten you there are quite a few oven baked risotto recipes to be found on the internet. They are very successful, I have tried some.
RHUBARB AND WHISKEY FOOL – Serves 4.
100g. caster sugar
1 tbsp. runny honey
284mls. double cream
3 tbsps. whiskey
- Chop the rhubarb into pieces and place in a saucepan with the water, sugar and honey. Bring to the boil and simmer until thick with strands of broken-down rhubarb. Leave to cool, preferably overnight.
- Whip the cream until it is really stiff and doesn’t move. Mix the whiskey into the rhubarb and finally fold this into the whipped cream. I would whip the cream and fold in the fruit at the last minute when ready to serve the dessert and not do it in advance.