Pilaf with Tomatoes
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 c pearl barley
- 1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 1/4 c water
- 1/2 c Italian crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 freshly grated parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
- basil leaves
- Cook the onion, garlic, oil and 1 tbsp butter in a saucepan and cook gently until the onion is softened. Add the barley and cook for one minute (stirring) and then add the water stock and tomatoes.
Bring to a gentle boil and cook gently with the lid on for about 45 mins or until tender. The pilaf should be quite sloppy. Beat in the remaining butter, parmesan, salt and pepper. Tear some of the basil leaves and mix in and garnish using the remaining basil leaves.
(As a guide one cup of pearl barley will swell to about 4 cups when cooked)
Prune and Dark Chocolate Pots
Plump up 16 prunes in ½ cup of water in the microwave with the rind and juice of an orange and 2 tbsp of Cointreau or similar liquer in the microwave for about 4 minutes.
Finely chop 200g dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids) almost to powdery consistency in the food processor.
Heat 300 ml of cream in a pot until scalding, then pour into the food processor with 8 of the prunes and the chocolate. Whizz and then pour into six tiny ramekins or small wine glasses and chill for several hours.
Chop the rest of the prunes and use them to decorate with a little extra Cointreau if desired.