Tex-Mex Barley Bake

March 2011
Tex-Mex Barley Bake

by 7 people

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This healthytake on mac andcheese usesbarley (a wholegrain that canhelp controlhunger), plusantioxidant-richtomatoes andsugar snap peas.

Makes: 8 servings

Prep: 55 mins

Cook: 35 mins

Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup pearled barley
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 15 ounce can  black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/4 cups milk, warmed
  • 3 cups shredded pepper jack cheese (about 12 ounces)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups crushed tortilla chips
Directions
  1. In a small saucepan, bring 3 cups water to a boil; add the barley, lower the heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Drain, transfer to a bowl and let cool. Reserve the saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees . In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat; add the sugar snap peas, scallions and 1/2 cup water. Boil to evaporate the water. Stir into the barley with the corn, black beans and tomatoes.
  3. Using the same saucepan, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute; slowly whisk in the warmed milk and bring to a simmer, then cook for 1 minute more. Stir in 2 cups cheese, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir this into the barley mixture; transfer to a shallow 3-quart baking dish.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 18 minutes. Sprinkle the chips and remaining 1 cup cheese on top. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is melted and the chips are toasted, 10 to 15 minutes.
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