Last night I made a delicious stew that would make my brother, Leon, cringe. Growing up, we were always the exact opposites, right down to our tastes in food. Leon loves pork. I hate pork. I love shellfish. Leon hates shellfish. Leon hates desserts, I live for sweets. You get the idea. Suffice to say, our fussy eating habits trained our mom to become a patient and creative cook!
Actually, the stew with the spicy Italian turkey sausage alone would have suited Leon's taste. It's the whole pound of mushrooms I added. He hates mushrooms. So, of course, I love mushrooms! Zach is indifferent about mushrooms but he loved the stew ...
2 small onions, thinly sliced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1lb spicy turkey Italian sausages, remove casings
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1lb of 2 different varieties of mushrooms
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
3 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp brandy
salt and pepper
parsley for garnish
Cook onion and garlic in a Dutch oven over medium heat until golden.
Add sausage to pan and cooked until brown and crumbled.
Add celery, carrots, mushrooms, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper, and bay leaf; cook 10 minutes or until mushrooms release moisture.
Stir in barley, chicken broth, brandy, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until barley is tender.