Barley doesn't contain as much starch as rice, so this "risotto," although delicious, is not quite as creamy as traditional recipes.
2 cups boiling water
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 (8-ounce) package cremini mushrooms, sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups uncooked pearl barley
3 tablespoons brandy
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 ounces fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
Combine 2 cups boiling water and porcini mushrooms; let stand 20 minutes. Drain mushrooms through a sieve over a bowl, reserving liquid. Finely chop mushrooms.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add onion; cook for 4 minutes. Add cremini mushrooms, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add porcini mushrooms and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add barley; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add brandy; bring to a boil. Cook until liquid almost evaporates (about 1 minute), stirring occasionally.
Stir in reserved mushroom liquid, 1 3/4 cups water, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat, and simmer 55 minutes or until liquid evaporates and barley is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Grate 1/4 cup (1 ounce) cheese; stir grated cheese and salt into barley mixture. Sprinkle with parsley. Shave remaining 1 ounce cheese over top.
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