Pearled Barley Porridge with Prosciutto and Eggs

This was my first time poaching an egg. Turns out I love it this style. Especially on this barley, totally unexpected, and such a wintry hearty dish. KP and I have been having the best Advent season, despite my working unprecedented hours in the new hospital ICU. Before the craziness started at the beginning of the month, we built two towers of 24-chamber boxes (using wine cases, reinforced with cardboard and lots of tape.) Into each box, we tucked away a daily surprise.

Advent calendar

Like an advent calendar for kids with waxy chocolate, but for adults, it’s like getting to open a stocking 24 times before Christmas Eve. Such fun!

pearl barley ham and eggs

Pearled Barley Porridge with Prosciutto and Eggs

Adapted from Food and Wine

1 cup apple cider

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 onions, thinly sliced

Kosher salt

2 ounces prosciutto, sliced thin and ripped into small pieces

2 cups pearled barley

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

4 large eggs, poached

Thinly sliced scallions, for serving

In a large saucepan, combine the cider, broth, and two cups of water, bring to a boil. The original recipe has you steep a kombu leaf (some kind of nasty seaweed thing) for 40 minutes, which of course I chose not to do. But I boiled the broth anyway, more because my chicken broth (homemade) seemed on the edge of stank.

Wipe out the saucepan and melt the butter in it. Add the onions, season with salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 20 minutes. Add the prosciutto and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the barley, soy sauce and cider broth and bring to a boil.

pearl barley porridge

Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the barley is porridge-like, about one hour. Season with salt.

Spoon the porridge into bowls and top with the eggs. Garnish with scallions; serve. Seriously, improbable how good this was.

pearl barley ham and egg

Haiku #343 December 9th

If my intern-ness

were a steaming pile of doo,

I fell on face first.


Haiku #344 December 10th

Too many requests

on my time and attention

All the nagging beeps.


Haiku #345 December 11th

Man and wife seated

at a white linen table

for a nice dinner.


Haiku #346 December 12th

For each other an

advent calendar, so we

feel the unfolding.


Haiku #347 December 13th

There is that kind of

love in these wards—in darkest

hallways, miracles.

One thought on “Pearled Barley Porridge with Prosciutto and Eggs

  1. You and KP always amaze me with your ability to create love and joy all around even during the craziest of times in life! What a gift to bring into this world 🙂 You two are treasures! I love the last two haikus! XOXOXO to you marvelous Advent enthusiasts, I love and miss you dearly!

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