Pearl barley - specially processed barley grains - a real hit of traditional Russian cuisine. It is an excellent garnish and filling for soups, porridge basis, it is stored for a long time without losing its consumer properties, its kernels perfectly retain their shape in the composition of ready-made dishes, and the dark longitudinal grooves on each of them give an unappetizing look to the crumbly pearl barley.
The universality of cereals is that it is suitable for cooking and salty, and sweet dishes, but it is useful and well digested only when hot. Today, it is unfairly overlooked and quite rarely on our table, since it is believed that the barley should be cooked for hours. Meanwhile, this is far from the case. Moreover, due to the low cost of barley, there was unfair stereotype, which represents it as a low-value product.
Household appliances make the process of boiling pearl barley more convenient, but almost does not reduce the time of its preparation. Without soaking the grits it is boiled for more than 1, 5 hours, and the volume of boiled grits is several times higher than its initial volume. This should be taken into account when soaking, and when cooking cereals. Prepared grits are boiled for about 30 minutes. It is necessary to soak the cereal until it noticeably increases in volume, from an hour to three, depending on the variety, grain size and how long they have been stored. Therefore, when buying, you need to pay attention to the release date, and also give preference to transparent packaging, which allows to distinguish impurities and the quality of cereals. Stuck product cooked a little longer. Soaking allows not only to determine the amount of cereals needed, but also to more accurately assess its quality.
The classic version of pickle is inconceivable without friable pearl barley, which gives the soup a special charm. To do this, boil the croup separately and lead into the soup in finished form, otherwise it turns out mucous, turbid and excessively thick. For each liter of finished pickle, you will need about 2 tablespoons of unprepared cereals.
When preparing cereals for pickle, you must:
- Carefully sort out the cereal, as it may contain barley husks or small pebbles.
- Rinse the grains in running water to wash away the finest pearl barley flour formed by the friction of the grains against each other.
- Pour the croup with cold water in such a way that the water level is about two fingers above its level (if necessary, water can be added).
- After 2-3 hours, drain the cold water and again fill the grits with hot water at the rate of 1: 2.
- Bring the cereal to a boil and reduce the heat.
- Boil for about half an hour under the lid without adding oil until fully cooked, which is determined only by taste, salt to taste.
Groats should not be left unattended on the stove, as it initially forms a thick foam, which must be periodically removed. Boiled until half-cooked cereal can be kept in water, turning off the fire, or in a water bath for about 20 minutes. The finished cereal, if thickened, is washed with boiling water so that the grains do not stick together, and add to the pickle 10 minutes before it is ready.
As an alternative to soaking the grits, it can be kept about an hour for a couple. Modern technologies of steaming cereals can significantly save the cooking time of most cereals, including pearl barley.
Adding tomato paste to pickle somewhat extends the shelf life of vegetables and cereals, so it is laid when the soup is almost at the ready stage. The surplus of boiled cereal can be stored in the freezer for an arbitrarily long time and used for cooking any dishes.