serves 4 as main course
4 cups chicken stock
1 oz dried mushrooms
4 oz assorted mushrooms, washed, trimmed and sliced
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup pearled barley, rinsed
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Place chicken stock in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Place the dried mushrooms in a large bowl and cover with two cups of the boiling stock. Let the mushrooms stand for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low under the chicken stock.
Warm 2 tbsp of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the slice mushrooms and saute until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
After five minutes, remove the reconstituted mushrooms from the stock and set aside. Line a fine mesh basket strainer with cheesecloth. Pour the liquid through the strainer back into the pot of simmering chicken stock.
Warm 2 tbsp of butter and the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and saute for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until the vegetables are soft and translucent.
Add the barley, stir and continue to saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the white wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Ladle in one cup of warm stock and cook, stirring until the barley has absorbed the liquid. Continue adding the stock, 1 cup at a time until the barley has absorbed the stock before adding more. This will take 35 to 40 minutes.
Add the soaked mushroom, sauteed mushrooms and parmesan cheese. Cook for another 2 minutes to rewarm the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper to taste.