Challenge Accepted: Tara, Bring It On!

This was a tough choice. Making sauerkraut is something I’ve wanted to do since reading “The Corrections.” (Although, to be honest, I’m not a big sauerkraut fan). And then of course I’m a big fan of cake, but Katy’s challenge involved a cake that serves 150! Beef Wellington just didn’t spark my fancy and Timpano is such my favorite part of the movie “Big Night” that I didn’t want to spoil it forever with my own kitchen disaster.

Which leaves Tara’s challenge of “Thai chicken barley risotto.” I have no idea what this entails. But I like risotto. I like thai chicken. And I occassionally like barley. This could work. Ok, Tara, e-mail me the recipe and I’ll get cooking! And get your kitchen ready for when I challenge you back!

5 thoughts on “Challenge Accepted: Tara, Bring It On!”

  1. Beef Wellington doesn’t interest you? Maybe I should have challenged you to make Kim Chi!

    Thai chicken barley risotto seems like the easiest of all the challenges submitted! I expected more from an amateur gourmet. (Do I sound bitter and hurt?)

  2. See, that’s what happened when I posted my challenge while hungry. Instead of thinking of a really difficult dish, I just blurted out something that sounded good. Actually, I kind of figured the timpano was a shoo-in because of the Big Night fame. :)

    But no matter. I may be going easy on you, Adam, but make no mistake: I’ll be ready for any challenge you throw back at me. Bring it on!

  3. Hey Tara — any chance you could post the recipe (or a link to it) here? I’m sure the rest of us would love to play along at home.

  4. Sure! Here it is. Technically this isn’t risotto–it’s “risotto.” :) There’s no arborio rice; the barley gets the risotto treatment instead. And you’ll see the recipe doesn’t specify how the chicken should be cooked, so that part’s up to you–grill it, cook it in the stock, roast it, whatever you want. Anyway, here you go:

    1 T. sesame oil

    1 1/2 c. chopped green onions

    2 T. minced garlic

    1/2 c. uncooked pearl barley

    1/4 c. chopped cilantro

    1/2 t. salt

    1/8 t. black pepper

    2 c. chicken stock

    2 jalapeno peppers, seeded & minced

    1/4 c. fresh lime juice

    1 T. brown sugar

    1 T. water

    1 1/2 t. rice vinegar

    1 t. soy sauce

    1 T. red curry paste

    1 T. fresh lemongrass, peeled & chopped

    1 T. minced fresh ginger

    3 c. shredded cooked chicken (about 1 pound)

    1 1/4 c. red bell pepper strips

    1 c. sugar snap peas, trimmed

    1 c. coconut milk

    chopped peanuts for garnish

    Bring chicken stock to a simmer. Heat 1 1/2 tsp. of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 c. of green onions and 1 T. garlic and saute 1 minute. Stir in barley, 1/2 c. stock, jalapenos, salt & pepper & bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is almost absorbed. Add remaining stock 1/2 c. at a time, stirring each time until liquid is absorbed before repeating.

    In a separate bowl, combine lime juice, brown sugar, water, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and curry paste; set aside.

    Heat 1 1/2 tsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet (med-high heat). Add 1 c. green onion, 1 T. garlic, lemongrass, and ginger; saute for a minute or two. Add chicken, bell pepper, and snow peas; saute for another couple minutes.

    Stir in barley mixture, juice mixture, and coconut milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro; top with peanuts.

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