Triticale for Dinner

Triticale (be sharp, say it trit-a-kay-lee)  is a really delicious grain that we can get locally from Nash’s. It’s a cross breed of wheat and rye and is terribly nutritious for you. Small Scale Grain Raising has some more interesting history about this fairly new grain as well as some interesting bread and cookie recipe that I’ll have to try soon. We like it because it’s easy to cook, puffs up nicely, and really gives a good ‘pop’ in your mouth when you chew it. I have made it just as a simple side with butter and salt and pepper, but tonight I decided to jazz it up a little and make it the main dish. (Inspiration being that there just wasn’t much in the fridge, and I couldn’t bear to eat another meal that involved carrots.)

1 cup triticale
1 cup white beans
2 bay leaves

3-4 slices of thick bacon, diced
1 large shallot (or a few small ones), diced small
1 bunch of kale, cut into ribbons
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper

Makes 4 servings.

  1. In the morning, prepare the beans and the triticale to soak. Rinse and pick through. (Be especially careful with the triticale. We always seem to find small stones in ours.) In two separate bowls, cover both with water and leave at room temperature.
  2. When ready to cook, rinse each thoroughly.  Cook the beans with two bay leaves in a covered pot on low for one hour. Cook the triticale on low for one hour also. (Next time, I don’t see why I couldn’t cook them both together, as they took the same amount of cooking time. This time, I left them separate so that I could adjust cooking times, if need be.)
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. In a pot large enough to hold your finished product, brown bacon over medium. Stir often to get an even browning. When it is almost satisfyingly brown, throw in the shallot and cook for another 3 minutes.
  5. Add kale and stir until wilted, about 1 minute.
  6. Add stock, season with salt and pepper, and reduce heat to low. Add back in the cooked beans and cooked grain. Put a lid on it and cook for about 15 minutes until the kale is stewed and everything else is reaheated.

Notes:

  • Serve with large croutons, crusty bread, or perhaps even a scrumptious cornbread.
  • Some friends of ours are diligently blogging about the dark days challenge. While we haven’t officially entered the challenge, a lot of what we cook counts. This meal certainly does! The bacon was home-smoked (from a pig who lived it’s life just a few blocks away), the veggies were all local, and even the bay leaves were from a plant that we grew (and alas, eventually killed). Check out the challenge and see if you can meet it!

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