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recipe challenge

As I mentioned in my last post on Friday, my friend, Ronnie, sent me the challenge to come up with a recipe with what she had in her pantry and refrigerator. You’ll find that recipe and the photos that Ronnie took of the process and of the finished dish below. If you would like to participate and send me a challenge of your own, please do! Just send an email to LPGourmett@aol.com with a list of what you have on hand and I will come up with a plan for using those items to make a dish/meal. Then you make the dish/meal and send me photos of the process and the finished dish to share here. Please type Pantry/Refrigerator Challenge in the subject line of your email.

This photo was taken in front of my old house at one of our neighborhood Progressive Dinners. The theme of this one was “White Trash” – Ronnie and I made a great party planning team!

On March 31, I received this text from Ronnie:

“OK, Let’s challenge LHop. What can I make with frozen Brussels sprouts, barley, vege broth??? Oh, I do have some frozen ground beef and shrimp. Maybe ‘Challenge LHop’ can be a new addition for your website.”

My response:

“Let’s see, the only thing I can really think of with that combination would be to cook the barley in the vegetable stock.

If the Brussels sprouts are still frozen when you read this, you could process them through the food processor with a slicing blade before they thaw completely so they aren’t soft and mushy.

Then lay the slices out on paper towels to thaw and drain. Use more paper towels to firmly pat out any excess water once they’re completely thawed and then pan fry them in a little olive oil to crisp them up.

As you remove them from the skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then sauté the onion and a couple of cloves of garlic in the same pan.

Return the Brussels sprouts and the barley to the skillet and if you have any cheese, such as Parmesan or asiago- add the grated cheese and maybe some nuts to it at the very end. Almonds, pine nuts, walnuts,  pecans whatever you have on hand. 

You could serve that as a warm salad with some shrimp that you throw on the barbie.

Ronnie’s Warm Barley and Brussels Sprout Salad

  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 2 cups frozen Brussels sprouts, partially thawed
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 Trader Joe’s frozen garlic cubes or 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/3 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts


  • 1 pound large shrimp, skewered, seasoned with Tajin and grilled

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium pot. Reduce heat to a low simmer, add the barley, cover, and cook according to package directions or until tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

While the barley is cooking, set up a food processor with the slicing blade and thinly slice the partially frozen Brussels sprouts, lay the slices on paper towels and pat to dry.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet and pan-fry the dried Brussels sprout slices until crisp, remove to paper towels to drain, seasoning with salt and pepper as each batch is removed from the skillet. If the skillet is dry when all the sprouts are cooked add another tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onion for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is soft and translucent.

Return the Brussels sprouts to the skillet, add the barley, toss to combine.

Add the cheese and toss to coat. Remove from heat and stir in the walnuts.

Spoon onto dinner plates and top with a skewer of grilled shrimp that has been seasoned with Tajin.

Serves 2

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1 comment

1 Ronnie Jaap { 04.14.20 at 1:02 PM }

Love it! Thanks again for your inspiration. Hope this is a fun challenge for all!

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