Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fun With Farro (and how the illness came in handy)

Hmm...maybe fun isn't the right word. Well, it started out fun.

Farro has been one of the new ingredients I've wanted to try for quite some time. I've had it only once at my recent birthday dinner at Tarry Lodge, where I had a delcious farro salad as an appetizer.

I wanted to make a side dish that would be similar to the one I had a Tarry Lodge, especially since corn is in season for a little while longer.

After making a huge batch of the stuff, I went for my camera and realized the battery was dead. I would have to charge it. Yes, I know that happens to me a lot on this blog. I never pay attention to the state of my battery until it's too late.

Well, luck was on my side. Then again, I don't think luck is the right word considering what I went through that night. After eating that farro alongside a lovely NY strip steak, I felt kind of funny. At 1:30 AM I woke up feeling beyond funny. I had blood coming out of places I have never seen blood. After two hours of not being able to sleep due to pain, I finally roused the hubby out of bed to take me to the ER. I was diagnosed with a raging bladder infection. Thank goodness for Greenwich Hospital. They saw me quickly, made me very comfortable, and gave me my first dose of medicine so I could start recovery right away.

Anyway, that leaves me home all day to take photos of my leftover farro with my now-charged camera. I had a leisurely day to put it on the good plates, drape the work area, and play with camera angles.

As I pointed out earlier, I served this alongside steak for myself. I deglazed the pan with brandy and added some butter to pour over the top. For Kevin I made tilapia in a meuniere sauce (I guess I have been very influenced by Top Chef lately) which he loved (is there anything that won't taste good with brown butter poured over it?). I do have leftovers that I could hypothetically take photos of, but leftover meats don't really look that appetizing.

I think I would have done what they do at Tarry Lodge if I made this again and grilled the corn first before cutting it off the cob. I think some bacon would be great with this as well, but that desire probably comes from the fact that at Tarry Lode, I ate my farro with a giant plate of prosciutto.

I realized when I was mixing a dressing that I was out of red wine vinegar, which was my first choice for vinegar. I used citrus champagne vinegar instead and then added some lemon zest to stay on the theme. By all means if you want to make this with red wine vinegar, use it. This is a dish meant to be played with.

I'm Not Andy Nusser Farro
1 package farro
2 quarts water
Olive oil for frying
1 medium red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
Kernels scraped from about 2 medium ears of corn
1 small green pepper, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbl citrus champagne vinegar
2 Tbl chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Cover farro with water and allow to sit for 25 minutes. Drain and put in a pot and cover with 2 quarts of water (or stock) and bring to a boil. Simmer 25 minutes. Drain.

In a large pan heat some olive oil and add garlic and onion and cook till fragrant. Add the corn, peppers, and tomatoes. Heat until tomatoes start to get a little burst and wrinkly. Add some salt and pepper if desired.

Mix together oil, vinegar, parsely and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add to cooked farro. Toss with vegetables and parsley and serve.


we are never full said...

wow - thank god you went to the ER. when i got to the part of "blood coming out of places you never saw blood came out of before" i was almost screaming at the computer to go to the damn hospital!!!!

i'm glad you're doing better - why do i not cook with farro EVER? it's been on the list and you've inspired me again!

The Duo Dishes said...

That sounds frightening! Goodness. Glad to hear you made it to the hospital in time.

Emily said...

Oh my goodness! You poor thing! I'm so glad you went to the hospital right away. That is very wise. My mom had something similar recently, and she waited over a week to go, and it turned out to be serious.

I hope you're doing okay and feeling better! The farro looks delicious. I've never had farro before. I've been seeing it on a lot of blogs lately. You can't buy it here.

Adam said...

Wow, so was it the farro that made you sick? I had no idea someone could get a bladder infection so easily. Hooray for finding an ER without the 6 hour waiting times, you're lucky.

Anyways, I'm glad you're feeling better. I would prescribe some rest and chocolate for you... to ya know... fix everything else :)

Sue said...

Poor you! Thank goodness you went to the ER so quickly and didn't have any (many?) gun shot victims to compete with.

I've never considered farro salad a comfort food before. It looks good, but actually should be you eating vinegar, which is so acidic? I prescribe chicken soup and a hot fudge sundae.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

WANF - Definitely try it. I like the change from other grain dishes. It's sort of like barley, but with a milder flavor.

DD - I think if this hadn't been the first time this happened, I might not have rushed to the ER so fast.

Emily - I just said I probably didn't have to rush to the ER, but I certainly wouldn't have waited a week after those symptoms. Hope Mom is okay!

If you really want to try farro, there must be websites where you can order it. I know it's even hard to get it around here at places like Whole Foods where they almost hide it under the other pastas.

Adam - I don't think it was the farro that made me sick. I have bene eating the leftovers for hte past two days!!!! Chocolate would definitely help.

Sue - Greenwich, Ct is not known for gunfights, so it was smooth sailing in the ER on Tuesday at 3AM. The farro wasn't so much a comfort food as it was something I had a ton of while I was sitting at home recovering. Hopefully it wasn't what made me sick. I think what I do need more of is the chocolate Adam mentioned and the hot fudge sundaes!

The Blonde Duck said...

You poor thing! At least you had tasty food to eat!

noble pig said...

Oh geez, that was not fun but staying home and photographing was!