I was first introduced to the concept of spoon bread when we took a family vacation to Williamsburg, Virginia. We ate atChristiana Campbell’s Tavern which is known for its delicious spoon bread. Spoon bread is a type of corn bread that has a pudding-like consistency. As the name depicts, spoon bread is typically eaten with a spoon. Traditionally, spoon bread is served with butter and contains no sugar. Over the years, makers of this dish have imparted their own variations to the recipe and so ingredients running the gamut from bacon to fresh fruit have found their way into its creation. When I returned home from our trip, I decided to attempt to put my own signature on this dish. I chose to make it a bit on the sweet side and added sugar. Here is the recipe for my version this southern favorite… read more.
Homemade seasoned whole-grain croutons are the perfect compliment to this from-scratch chicken barley soup.
Welcome to Sweet and Savory Saturday! What do you get when you add a pinch of friendship to a dash of family and a fistful of love? One fine bowl of Chicken Barley Soup! Today’s featured recipe comes from a compilation of cooking tips and secrets from various friends and extended family members. The substitution of barley for pasta noodles increases the fiber content of this soup. And, using a store-bought, pre-cooked rotisserie chicken cuts down on cooking time, provides tender pieces of chicken, and adds a rich flavor to the stock. Serve this soup along with homemade seasoned whole-grain croutons as a healthy alternative to starchy crackers.
Chicken Barley Soup
4 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 cup peas
3/4 cup celery, chopped
2 leeks, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 TBS trans fat-free margarine
1 store-bought, pre-cooked rotisserie chicken (about 3 lbs)
1/3 cup pearl barley
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Put broth, barley, and bay leaf in a heavy sauce pan. Cover and simmer until barley is tender (about an hour). On medium-low heat melt margarine and sautee garlic. Remove garlic-butter mixture from heat and set aside. Remove skin from rotisserie chicken. Then, pull chicken meat from bone into bite-sized pieces. Once barley is tender, add chicken and carrots. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes. Then, add remaining ingredients and cook for another 20-30 minutes. Serve with homemade seasoned whole-grain croutons (recipe below).
Homemade Seasoned Whole-Grain Croutons: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Cut day-old loaf of whole-grain bread into cubes. Place bread cubes on cookiesheet and spray bread with cooking spray. Sprinkle favorite seasoning blend onto bread pieces. Top with a light sprinkling of shredded parmesan or mozzarella cheese. Cook in oven for 5-8 minutes or until bread cubes are golden brown.