BARLEY - MUSHROOM CASSEROLE
  • ½ ounce dried mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 cup Barley
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 medium-size fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup snipped fresh chives or minced parsley

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small heatproof bowl, soak the dried mushrooms in the water for 10 minutes or until softened. Drain in a sieve lined with cheesecloth or paper toweling over a bowl and serve the liquid. Chop the mushrooms.

In a casserole, melt 2 teaspoons of butter. Add the barley and sauté, stirring, for 1 minute or until lightly browned. Transfer the barley to a small bowl.

Melt the remaining 2 teaspoons of butter in the casserole. Add the onion and sauté, stirring, for 1 minute or until it just begins to turn translucent. Add the fresh mushrooms and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Return the barley to the casserole, add the soaked mushrooms and their liquid, the stock, salt, pepper and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Transfer to the oven and bake, covered, for 1 to 1¼ hours or until the barley is tender. Before serving, remove and discard the bay leaf and stir in the chives. Serves 6.