They call me Thrifty Bennetto. Correction. They almost never call me Thrifty Bennetto. Even if my friends came up with such lame nicknames, it would be one of those ironic ones, like when they call a fat guy Tiny. Apologies to all the Tinies of this world that are now just realising where that one originated. You'll live.
I've mentioned before that Matt is endlessly throwing out leftovers from our fridge because I cannot bear to eat the same thing twice. I'm a work in progress in that regard (and many others). I have taken to refashioning leftovers to create a whole new dish. To be honest, it's a pretty great test of my creativity, because the main ingredients are already chosen.
The creamed corn was whipped up for our engagement party when I was making the chicken and corn wonton tartlets. It was pretty sublime in that dish, so I knew I needed to give that corn the send off it deserved. Yes, I was sending that vegetable to food heaven: my belly. It's where every cob dreams of ending up.
I must admit, I've been spying barley risotto recipes all around the joint of late. It seems no one wants to use rice anymore: grains are all the rage. Barley ain't fancy. It's been used in soups and stews for eons, but it's gaining some street cred in it's use in risottos. But barley alone does not a risotto make.
The normal method is to saute some shallots, carrot and celery, mix through the rice and stir in stock until all cooked. There's no reason to mix that up in this recipe, but I decided to omit the carrot to maintain the creamy colour of the dish. Fold through the corn and you're away.
You could serve something richer with this: steak, grilled lamb or maybe some pan fried fish. But grilled chicken is just right for the barley: it's caramelised and clean, and with a squeeze of lemon it cuts nicely through the richness of the corn.
There you have it. A thrifty dish that leaves no hint of leftover recycling. No, this is just a second great use of creamed corn. And you have Thrifty Bennetto to thank.
1 1/2 cups pearl barley
1 litre chicken stock
1 stalk celery
1 cup creamed corn
1 breast chicken
salt and pepper
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley
Dice the shallot and celery finely. Heat some olive oil in a heavy based casserole dish. Saute the shallot and celery for around 4 minutes. Add the barley and stir to coat in oil. Add the stock 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring the whole time. Cook until the barley is al dente. Once done, stir through the creamed corn.
Butterfly the chicken breast by slicing lengthways and flattening out, cutting the breast in two. Season well and pan fry over high heat until golden brown and cooked through. Serve on top of the barley risotto with a sprinkling of parsley.
You should have some leftover risotto here. It reheats really nicely.