I had never heard of spelt until I recently saw it in a few of the British food blogs I follow. According to the back of the box, it is a very ancient grain that has been around since the Bronze Age. The Romans called it "the marching grain" because it was so jam-packed with energy and sustains you for a long time. All I know is it makes a wonderful substitute for rice in risotto, or as the box called "speltotto". There is also spelt flour to make spelt breads and waffles with. Who knew!?!
If this does gain more popularity in the US, can we all attribute me with the credit? Cool, thanks.
This week has seemed slow mostly because our holiday party was on a Monday (!?!). Even though it ended promptly at 8:30 PM on the dot and the DJ stopped playing We Are Family to tell us to all go home, it still did not feel like a Monday, but more like a Thursday, which has thrown me off everyday since. I danced my socks off though and ate a ton of biscuits and red wine so I guess I can say it was a success?
Other exciting things happening round here is the storefronts on 5th Ave are completely all decked out with their Christmas decor. Saks Fifth Avenue was my favorite, although a little on the creepy side (like a holiday party gone wrong or something). The sidewalk trees are strung with lights and there are lots of Christmas tree stands all along the sidewalks. I love seeing how festive the city becomes!!
Creamy Mushroom Speltotto (serves 3-4)
- 1 8-oz. package of mushrooms, sliced thick
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 shallots, diced small
- 1 tbl butter
- 1 tbl olive oil
- 1 ½ cups spelt
- 1 ½ cups Chicken broth
- ½ cup dry white wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh herbs for topping
Directions: Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add half of olive oil and half of the butter. Once oils are hot, add sliced mushrooms to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes until browned. Remove from pan into a bowl.
In same pan, add remaining oil and butter and add diced shallots. Cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously, and add the garlic. Continue stirring until cooked. Add spelt to pan, and stir to coat with oils and toast it for a few minutes.
Next, add white wine to deglaze pan. Add a little bit of the chicken broth, just until the spelt is fully covered. Let simmer and reduce, then add more chicken broth, just until spelt is covered once again. Repeat until all liquid is absorbed and spelt is al dente. Add mushrooms back into pan, and garnish with herbs.