Talk with Your Mouth Full, the new cookbook by Hearty Boys Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, presents recipes from their popular TV cooking show, with recipes like Pearl Barley Tabbouleh; Salmon Wellington; and Leek and Cremini Ravioli with Red and Yellow Tomato Concassé.
Tabbouleh is traditionally prepared with bulghur wheat and eaten as part of a mezze (a selection of Middle Eastern appetizers). I thought it would be fun to switch the bulghur to pearl barley, which makes this a heartier side dish. It's perfect for a summer meal. The importance of using the freshest ingredients in this dish can't be stressed enough.
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of the salt and the barley. Stir, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the barley is tender, about 40 minutes.
Drain the barley, rinse it under cold water, drain again, and place it in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining salt, the olive oil, lemon juice, tomatoes, and herbs and toss. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Tabbouleh can be made the day before.
It seems that everybody's holiday get-together is scheduled for the same night. As you desperately hope people will choose you and your party, you're reminded of being picked last at junior high school volleyball games.
This is just one of the times that open houses are a great option. First off, there's something old school and Currier and Ives about them, which I just love. Plus, they're often afternoon parties, which is such a nice change during a busy social season.
But no matter what time of year you're having your open house, you run the risk of having all your guests turn up at the opening bell. Easy fix? Stagger the times on your invitations. For example, if your party is from 1 to 6 P.M., invite half the guests from 1 to 4 P.M. and the other half from 3 to 6 P.M.
And don't forget the best reason to throw an open house: You have an end time listed, which allows you to make plans for later that day (and pick whose parties you choose to go to).
This page created January 2008
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