The following originally appeared on 9/10/08 at Exit 51.
Thoughts On A Recipe
Don’t you just hate it when you’re making a recipe that you’ve found somewhere, in a book or online, but you don’t know what it’s supposed to look like? I do. And despite my own hatred of it, I find too often that I do it here.
There’s nothing worse that being excited to try something new only to get into it and figure out that you have no idea what the end result is supposed to be. Oh sure, you might have a vague idea but don’t those pretty pictures give you clarity? Now I’m not saying that when I make one of these dishes that mine looks exactly like what some food stylist toiled over four hours. But at least I know if I’m heading in the right direction.
I could make a million excuses about why some of my recipes don’t have photos. But I won’t. Instead, I’ll show you a pretty picture of what Alt Risotto looks like when I make it.
Now that I’ve made this dish a second time, I have a new thought about it. Barley is still a fine substitute for traditional arborrio rice. But barley risotto has a stronger, earthier flavor. At first I thought it was the fancy, schmancy cheese I had used. So this time, I used an ordinary grated parmesan. And while the cheese WAS part of the solution, that earthy flavor was still there. So either this is really what barley tastes like or my chicken broth was to blame. Next time, I’ll be using my Swanson instead of Trader Joe’s.