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Onions with Barley and Creamy Chanterelles

The neighbour gave us a basket of chanterelles, and trying to decide what to do with them, a recipe we tried a few years ago came to mind. I don't remember where the recipe was from, and don't have it saved anywhere (at least, not to my knowledge), but I tried to sort of recreate it from memory, with a couple of ingredient swaps. So here is what came out of that.


5 onions, whole

3 c whey

1 tsp herbes de Provence

1-2 tsp dried orange peel

1 tbsp butter (and some for greasing the baking dish)

4 c (approx) chanterelles

1 c cream

1 c barley

Salt and pepper to taste

1) Place the onions in a saucepan and pour over the whey (my whey was half yogurt whey, which is more acidic, and half ricotta whey). Add herbes de Provence and orange peel, salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer.

2) Meanwhile, melt butter in a frying pan. Add chanterelles and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, allowing the mushrooms to render their liquid. Mine gave up quite a lot, so instead of draining it in the sink, I poured the extra liquid over the onions.

3) Add cream and pepper to the chanterelles and stir. Cook for a few minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken, then cover and set aside. Butter an oven proof dish.

4) When the onions are tender when stabbed with a knife, transfer to the baking dish, reserving cooking liquid. Pour barley into the saucepan with the cooking liquid and cook until al dente - 15 to 20 minutes.

5) Pour the contents of the saucepan into the baking dish (it's ok if there is still a little liquid), arranging the barley snugly around the onions. Pour the chanterelle sauce over the onions and barley and place in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for about 10 minutes.

This was delightfully warm and filling, without being heavy. The onions were sweet and tender, and the barley and mushrooms complemented them very nicely. I am not sure if this is exactly what we had a few years ago, but it certainly worked well! I might omit the oven step next time and see how it goes though. It might have helped marry the dish and the flavours a little, but I am not sure. Anyway, a big hit with all three of us, and then it held up very well as a left-over lunch at work for me (mostly blind with almost no onions or mushrooms, but still tasty). This could work well as a side course with meat, or with bits of bacon or something in it too.

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