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Christmas Limas with Barley and Squash
the pressure cooker makes this a lot quicker

2-3 pounds of sweet winter squash

1 1/4 cups hato mugi barley, aka job's tears, or pearled barley 

2 large onions

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter

2 cups dried christmas lima beans

2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon epazote
3-4 dried cascabel peppers

2 quarts chicken or turkey stock

3-4 ounces of strong dry hard cheese (I used a mix of dry jack & some kind of pecorino)

Rinse, halve, seed and bake or microwave the squash until soft enough to scoop out the pulp from the shell (400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or microwave on high for 10-20 minutes, depending on the squash and your microwave).  Puree the squash in a food processor, squeeze through a ricer, or mash with a pastry blender; set aside.  Ideally, you should have 2-3 cups of pulp.

Lightly toasted the hato mugi for 10-15 minutes in a 400 degree oven or 10 minutes in a cast iron pan over medium heat, with constant stirring, until it smells nicely toasty; then set aside.

Finely chop the onions and sautee in the butter/olive oil mixture in the pressure cooker or in a stock pot or dutch oven until translucent.  

Add the stock, barley, and christmas limas.  If using the pressure cooker, bring up to pressure and cook at 15 lbs pressure for 16 minutes then let drop from pressure naturally.  If using stock pot or  dutch oven, bring to a boil, then simmer until barley and limas are soft (at least 1 if not 2 hours).  

Remove the seeds and stems from the peppers, and whirl together in a spice grinder with the rosemary, epazote and sage, until powdered.   Grate the cheese finely.  Stir the spices and cheese into the mixture, and salt to taste.

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