Triple Mushroom Barley Risotto with Parmesan and Thyme Crisps
200g button mushrooms
6 medium flat mushrooms
1/3C dried porcini mushrooms
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
2 ltrs vegetable or chicken stock – good quality
1 ½ C Whole Barley
thyme small bunch
1C parmesan cheese – finely grated
2 Tbsp. Crème fraiche – optional (alternatively sour cream can be used)
Finely cut 2 flat mushrooms and your dried porcini mushrooms and add to a pot with the stock, throw in a bunch of thyme and heat to a very gentle simmer for around 20 mins
Finely dice your onion and sauté in a little butter until translucent add the finely chopped garlic and sauté for another couple of minutes.
Add the drained flavoured stock and simmer with a lid on for 15mins. Stirring every couple of minutes.
On a baking try with non-stick baking paper make small loose piles of the parmesan cheese with some thyme leaves sprinkled on top, bake at 180 until melted and just bubbling. Be careful to not let it colour as it can become bitter.
When the barley is cooked (al dente, or softer if you prefer, note that barley will never be as soft as rice) remove the lid and let the remaining liquid reduce stirring constantly. If there is no liquid left water can be used to bring some moisture back. Season.
When the barley is cooked heat a heavy pan and fry the finely sliced mushrooms with a little more butter, when they are browned and softened add the cream and crème fraiche reduce till slightly thickened and season.
Spoon the risotto into pasta dishes, top with the creamy mushroom and serve the parmesan wafers on the side so they stay crisp.