Mushroom Barley Risotto and Baked Whole Trout

I’ve been working in pediatric psychiatry this month now, and needless to say, it’s been very different from the country hospital ER. There’s depression, autism, oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety, but most of all, ADHD.
Before, I thought that if you just tried and concentrated hard enough, you’d overcome ADHD. But after meeting these families, I can see how real it is. Their struggles in school or controlling outbursts are real. The side effects, like difficulty sleeping and loss of appetite or feeling “zombie-like,” unfortunately are real.
Sometimes, I feel like I have so much energy, yet I’m so all over the place I can’t do anything productive; I end up doing nothing, wasting time, and hating myself for it. I don’t even have ADHD, so I can hardly imagine what these kids go through 24/7.

Medications don’t take away a child’s personality as some people fear but channel their energy into something productive. I still have somewhat mixed feeling about stimulants and its risks, but, undoubtedly, these kids need them. And for the vast majority of patients, taking medicine decreases dropping out, drug abuse, and violence, so I believe it’s worth it.

Adapted this recipe from Mark Bittman. I didn’t have cremini mushrooms and had to sub red wine vineger for the white wine. And used a rice cooker to speed up the risotto making process.

Barley Risotto with Mushrooms, Manchego and Thyme

3.5 oz fresh shittake mushrooms
6 oz sliced portabella caps
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
3 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 cup barley
1/2 large onion, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
4 fresh bay leaves
2-3 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper
1/2 cup manchego, grated

Add barley, sliced onions, and bay leaves in a rice cooker and 2 cups of chicken stock. Cook to desired doneness (add more liquid if necessary to keep the rice cooker on the “cook” setting if it’s not done).

While the barley is cooking, clean and slice the shittake and portabella mushrooms. Over a pan on medium high, heat olive oil and saute and garlic. Add mushrooms and 1/4 cup white wine, working in batches so as not to crowd the pan. Add rosemary and thyme. Cook until the mushrooms are browned and soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the cooked barley to the pan with the mushrooms and its juices and stir over stove top on medium high for the flavors to meld, adding more chicken stock depending on desired consistency. Add salt and pepper. Grate manchego cheese.

Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve, adding additional manchego cheese if desired.

Pan-Roasted Rainbow Trout
and Western Living

3 whole rainbow trouts, cleaned and scaled
salt and pepper
fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, and oregano)
6 cloves garlic
2 lemon, sliced or cut in half
extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with foil and add carrots.

Rinse the trout, then pat dry with a paper towel. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with fresh herbs and garlic.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and place the whole fish directly into the pan, searing both sides until skin is crispy. Transfer to the prepared pan with carrots, and squeeze lemons over the fish and carrots. Drizzle the top with olive oil and slide the pan into the oven.

Roast for 15–20 minutes, or until just firm to the touch.

Tip: To get crispy skin, make sure the fish that has no surface moisture. Blot the entire surface with a paper towel before frying, broiling or grilling.

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