255: Barley Hoppin’ John
The recipe for Barley Hoppin’ John really appealed to me when I came across it. I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps I just felt like having comfort food. I also really like barley, so I’m happy to come across different things to put it in.
I made a few changes to this. I didn’t have celery (I haven’t used it in a recipe in months), so I added some celery seed instead for flavor. I used 14 ounces of water and 2 bouillon cubes in place of a can of broth. I only had pearl barley, which takes a long time to cook, so I soaked it all day before I cooked it; this cut the cooking time of the pearl barley in half, so that it cooked as fast as quick-cooking barley. I don’t like black-eyed peas, so I decided to use black beans instead; I generally don’t buy cans of beans, so I soaked some black beans overnight and cooked them in the crockpot most of the day, so that I could add them to the recipe at the end.
This recipe was easy to assemble. After you cook the vegetables and add the barley and liquid, it’s hands-off until it’s done. This means that you can wash up some dishes or otherwise pick up your kitchen before dinner. I value this because, while I don’t like cleaning my kitchen, it doesn’t seem as bad if I clean a little bit while I’m waiting for dinner.
While this cooked, Alex asked me if I was making Spanish Rice. I think he asked because of the smell of the onion and red bell pepper cooking. We both enjoyed this. It was definitely filling yet healthy comfort food. It wasn’t spicy – I didn’t notice the red pepper flakes in it. I really enjoyed eating the barley and the beans. I thought it was pretty satisfying to eat, although I don’t think I’d really get four servings out of it. We split it into 3 servings, but I really think that you’d want to just split this into 2 servings if you weren’t going to eat anything else with it. I’d make this again.