Burnt Mushroom and Artichoke Succotash

10 ounces button mushrooms. minced
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
2 tbls capers and brine
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tbls hot sauce
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 serrano, minced
1 habanero, minced
1 poblano, diced
1 large shallot, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1 can red beans, rinsed
2 tsps basil
1 tbl salt
2 tsps black pepper2 tsps garlic powder

This dish uses the char of the mushrooms to add umami. When you char mushrooms, it's almost as if they are transformed into an entirely different product. Those bland, little sponges are miraculously turned into a rich, meaty, flavor bomb. They become like vegan bacon lardons. They elevate all the other ingredients with which you combine them and make everything come alive. 

The key is to take the mushrooms all the way to the edge of being burnt. 

Cook the mushrooms heavily salted in a dry fry pan over medium high heat. They will release their liquid. Let that evaporate. Deglaze with the wine. Let that…

Crusade

I would like to complain for a moment and hopefully start a crusade. I doubt that will happen, but it would be nice if it did.

Personally, I am sick and tired of emailing all the cheese companies and asking them whether or not their enzymes are vegetarian. Not to mention, I'm not sure I trust their responses.

With the plethora of information available to today on food product why is it that there still isn't an indication of from where cheese enzymes are derived.

Ingredients lists mark in bold the possible, not even definitive, existence of milk, soy, wheat, egg and nuts on every package. And yet, when one reads a cheese ingredient label, it simply says enzymes. With no hint as to their murky origins.

The only company smart enough to mention their enzymes are animal free is Cabot. All the rest you have go to their website, search around, not find, email to ask, then wait an eternity for them to say this may contain or that might have.

It just isn't right. It should be clearly marked on each and every package of cheese what type of enzyme is used.

So far, I know, Crystal Farms is all veg. As are Great Lakesm, Heluva Good and Cabot. America's Choice (a and p) brand is mostly. Not American, or provolone and some others. Mostly Italian cheeses are not. Same goes for Sorrento and Sargento. Steer clear of Parmesan, Provolone, Asiago. Fontia. Muenster, Jarlsberg and American. Avoid Kraft altogether.

I wish I knew how to start a massive internet campaign demanding full disclosure for cheese enzyme sources. Vegetarians and vegans and people who do not wish to consume pork or veal need to band together. Non-vegetarian cheeses are made with calf (veal) and pork stomach enzymes. Plenty of non-veggies don't want to eat these foods and yet are unwittingly doing so. It's wrong.

To facebook I go.