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Goodness Of Grains

Generations ago, fine cooks included barley in many
family recipes. Barley’s wonderful versatility goes far beyond the soup tureen.
From heart-warming pumpkin waffles to chicken Alfredo and stir-fry, these recipes
are sure to tantalize the taste buds of discriminating diners everywhere. These
recipes are from the National Barley Foods Council.

A good way to give your favorite recipes a quick high-fiber
boost is to keep cooked barley on hand. Cook a batch of pearl barley and freeze
one-cup portions in airtight containers. To use, thaw the barley, fluff with a
fork, and add to soups, stews, casseroles, and salads.

THAI BARLEY STIR-FRY

1/2 cup regular pearl barley

1 cup water

2 Tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil, divided

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup thinly sliced eggplant

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

8 to 10 drops red pepper sauce

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon oyster sauce

1 teaspoon soy sauce

3 Tablespoons chopped peanuts

Shredded red cabbage and carrot curls, for garnish

Combine barley and water in small saucepan. Bring
to a boil. Reduce to low, cover, and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender
and liquid is absorbed. Set aside. In large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon
of oil over high heat. Add chicken pieces and garlic. Stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes.
Add cooked barley and stir-fry an additional 3 minutes. Remove barley-chicken
mixture from pan and keep warm. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in skillet.
Add eggplant, bell pepper, and onion and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add basil, mint,
red pepper sauce, sugar, oyster sauce, and soy sauce. Cook 2 more minutes. Return
barley-chicken mixture to skillet and stir-fry 3 minutes. Sprinkle with peanuts
and garnish with shredded red cabbage and carrot curls for an authentic Thai
finishing touch. Serves 4.

CHICKEN AND BARLEY ALFREDO

1/2 cup regular pearl barley

1-1/2 cups water

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves,

about 4 ounces each

4 slices provolone cheese, cut in half

4 thin slices ham, cut in half

1 container (10 oz.) prepared Alfredo sauce

Paprika

Place barley and water in medium saucepan; bring
to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is
tender and liquid is absorbed. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in skillet.
Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir
in oregano, pepper, salts, and cooked barley. Cool slightly. Mix in 1/4 cup
Parmesan cheese and set aside. Place each chicken breast between two pieces
of plastic wrap. Pound until very thin. Remove plastic. To assemble, place one
slice each provolone cheese and ham on each pounded chicken piece. Spoon 1/4
cup barley mixture in center of ham. Bring sides of chicken up around filling,
making a square package. Secure with toothpicks. Note: Chicken may not completely
cover filling. Place chicken packages in a greased baking pan. Bake in 350°
oven for 15 minutes. Remove toothpicks. Spoon Alfredo sauce over chicken and
sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and paprika. Bake 15 to 20 minutes
longer. Serves 8.

BARLEY PUMPKIN OVERNIGHT WAFFLES

1/2 cup warm water (105° to 115°)

1 package active dry yeast

3 Tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

1 cup all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups barley flour

2 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

1 Tablespoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups low-fat buttermilk

1/2 cup prepared solid-pack pumpkin

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Combine water and 1 teaspoon of sugar in small bowl.
Sprinkle yeast over water and let stand 5 minutes or until surface bubbles to
show yeast is working. Combine flours, remaining sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking
soda, and salt in large bowl and set aside. In small bowl, combine buttermilk,
pumpkin, and butter. Stir liquid ingredients and yeast mixture into dry ingredients
until well-blended. Cover batter and refrigerate overnight. To prepare waffles,
heat waffle iron. Pour in 1/2 to 1 cup of batter, according to the size of the
waffle iron. Bake until waffles are done. Serves 4.

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