Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Just Barley Summertime!

Striscette di Maiale in Agrodolce con Orzo Perlato e Verdure Miste
Sweet & Sour Pork with Pearl Barley & Vegetables

Incredibly, a little sun shone today in Frankfurt- although I think I blinked and missed it. It is enough to drive you to despair sometimes! Or to the kitchen to make something that at least makes you feel like it is Summer- even if the food you might find yourself craving for, may be more of the warming Winter-type of thing!

Not being able to decide what to do... I made myself a light and Summery meal out of a rather more Winter ingredient- the humble pearl barley. Yes, I love barley- it is so traditional and hearty, but also very versatile. Take a look what I came up with- you might just like it too!

First of all, I boiled the barley on a gentle simmer, for 10-15 minutes... this gave me plenty of time to prepare the vegetables- and indeed the pork to finish the rest of the dish! 

I sliced a little red bell pepper- this was one of those baby-sized onesm a couple of nice brown mushrooms, a spring onion, chopped a little garlic and parsley very finely and sautéed these together in just a little olive oil for 4-5 minutes. I then set them to one side and turned my attention to the pork fillet, which I cut into slices.

I fried the pork at quite a high heat for just a short time, with a little crushed garlic, salt, pepper and a hint of chili. After 2-3 minutes, I added a tablespoon of honey and removed it from the heat. I sprinkled the pork strips with sesame and stirred them well, then returned them to the stovetop but at a very gentle heat... just enough to keep them warm.

I drained the barley off and added it to the assorted vegetables, along with the additional parsley, salt, pepper and a tiny hint of lemon.

The pork was of course done by now, but I turned up the heat and added both a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and the same of honey. I stirred it together well and added a tiny hint of cinnamon and turned off the heat.

I served the honey pork strips on a bed of barley and mixed vegetables and the result was both light and refreshing, but also satisfying and filling... a great combination! So this is indeed a very simple meal, but a quick, sensible and fun one at that! I do hope you all approve!

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