Monday, March 30, 2009

Solar Cooked Fire and Rain Barley Pilaf

This recipe can be made in a Solar Oven , or a crock pot. It's a whole grain barley pilaf made with big chunks of roasted garlic, sun dried tomatoes, toasted almonds and amazing flavor. Vegetarian, full of character, and still it manages to look totally fabulous. It's the barley version of my husband. Hello baby.

How does it do it? It's all that sun. It makes it happy. Kind of like me living in Arizona...where we get sun! So if you are just joining me on my many cooking journeys, grab on to your space satellite. Wait, that's not a satellite, it's my solar oven...
I got my oven for Mother's Day last year. After I cried, I didn't wait 20 minutes before I was cooking with it. I have loved it ever since. Before I had the industrial made solar oven, I had one I made from cardboard, rolled up newspaper, aluminum foil, glass, felt edge liner, and a mirror. It worked for cooking legumes and a few baked goods. I just wanted something more permanent. Hence my joy at getting this Global Sun Oven. Here's the link: Global Sun Ovens...My Choice for Solar Cooking. I also have it on good authority,( ha ha, my own)...that the home made ones work as well.

"Everyone should know that they can make their own solar cooker in about an hour from a single cardboard box, aluminum foil, a plastic bag, and a dark pot. Here is a link to free plans:The Fun-Panel" --Tom Sponheim Solar Cookers International

Tom Sponheim contacted me recently about adding a page to the Solar Cookers International website about Chef Tess Bakeresse. It sounds like my kind of zany fun. Seriously though, let's get back to the food.
Here's what you'll need for Fire and Rain Barley Pilaf
1/2 cup of garlic (yes I know it seems like a lot! It gets really mellow and roasted so don't panic)
I used the peeled garlic. I found it--organic on sale. so now it's official, I'm good.

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (packed in oil),drained and chopped

I make my own sun dried tomatoes. More to come on that subject as the tomatoes progress with our dear Jim (Organic Tomato Farming ) guru extraordinaire. I also infuse the packing olive oil with lemon, orange and black pepper...however, any jarred variety will work.

Here's a glimpse into the jar...
In a dark covered pot (my cooker came with one) combine the garlic, tomato and the following:
1 cup pearled barley
1/2 medium onion chopped
1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup yellow or green bell pepper, diced
Add the cooking liquid 3 cups vegetable stock or beef stock if you aren't vegetarian) and season generously. I used:
1/4 tsp each:
oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, dill
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp kosher salt
Cover and put in solar oven. My oven gets well over 350 degrees most of the time. It took 2 1/2 hours to bake. If you use a crock pot, 2 1/2 hours on high should do it.

Just out of the oven it looked like this. Just a little stir to mix in all the good stuff...

You may also add cheese after baking if you are not vegan vegetarian and want a little something more. I love it with 1/2 cup low fat cream cheese added to it at this point.

Grab a fork.
I actually served it with braised red cabbage and some totally non-vegetarian Shallot Herb Roasted Pork with Lemon Cream Sauce a... . That's what I love most about this dish. It can be a main course, or a side dish.

There you go. also freezes beautifully for a quick addition to soup or as a meal in and of itself. Try folding in cooked asparagus. I almost die from the sheer pleasure. Really.


Anonymous said...

Hey Stephanie,
We enjoy checking out your blog. Sure do love you! Miss having you around. I love that talk on hope too. I used it for a lesson in Dec. and Someone else taught it as a lesson last month. It seems to keep cropping up but it is so valuable.
Love, Melody

Chef Tess said...

Melody, how wonderful to hear from you again! I didn't know you where following me, but I love to have a dear friend along for the fun. Big hugs and kisses to you and the kiddos! I posted you up here yesterday but didn't get to respond until this morning. The talk on hope is why I have any hope left. What an encouraging lift to my heart. I sure love you! I don't have your email address and would love to get more specifics as I don't do real names on the blog. Let's chat sometime! Take care my amazing friend.

jovaliquilts said...

Your post is more than 3 yrs old, but I just found it this morning when I was googling how to cook barley in a solar oven. I had the ingredients so I made it. Just finished cooking -- it's delicious! Wow! Great recipe, thanks for sharing.