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Barley is a unique grain that can be used in a variety of recipes including soups, stews, and even salads. For the most part, it is used as a thickening agent but it can also be a tasty addition to a delectable recipe.
Easy Ways to Cook Barley The world of food is so complex and extensive. There are so many unique ingredients available, which can be made into unique but delicious dishes. One of those unique food ingredients is barley, a puffy grain that is commonly used in stews and soups. Types of Barley Before knowing how to cook barley, you must first understand the types that you usually find in supermarkets. There’s the pearl barley, which is the processed type. The other one is the barley groats, which is considered as more nutritious because it is not yet stripped off the outer bran. Although less nutritious, the pearl barley is commonly used in many recipes because it is softer and faster to cook. Other types of barley include flaked barley, barley grits, black barley, pressed barley, quik- cooking barley, and pot barley. They differ in some ways but they can be cooked or be substituted for the others as well. Cooking Barley Depending on the type of barley you are using, you may have to alter the steps on how to cook barley. But the basic is all about boiling your grains in plain salted water or broth. How long you need to boil it depend on your pre-cooking preparations and the variety of grains you are cooking. Here are some tips: Tip #1: Make sure to wash your barley well. Put it in a strainer and rinse it through running water. That will make it easier for you to discard the debris. Tip #2: Soak the barley overnight before cooking it. That will reduce the cooking time considerably. Tip #3: For every cup of barley, boil 2 to 3 cups of water. After putting the grains in boiling water, stir it, close the lid, and lower the heat. Simmer it for 10 to 45 minutes depending on the type of barley you are using and whether or not you pre-soaked it. Tip #4: Season barley with cinnamon, thyme, marjoram, and garlic. They go well with the grains to make a hearty soup. Tip #5: Another way of cooking barley is mixing it with some vegetables like carrots, turnips, mushroom, leek, and celery. Sauté the vegetables, along with some onion, salt, pepper, sour cream, and soup stock in butter and presto, you will have a Polish Style Soup. Tip #6: Interestingly, you can also make barley into a salad. All you need to do is to boil pearl barley, then rinse it in cold water. When it has cooled completely, mix it with chickpeas, green onions, jalapeño pepper, parsley, northern beans, and pink beans. In another bowl, mix together the seasoning including red wine vinegar, garlic, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, and canola oil. Then, toss the barley mixture.
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