French Black Beans and Mushrooms with Gravy Vegan

There's something really satisfying about mushrooms treated in a french preparation. Wine, mustard and thyme are one of those classic combinations that evoke a fine dining experience without the fine dining price tag. 1 pint baby bella mushrooms chopped small 1 can black beans, rinsed 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbl tsps soy sauce 2 tbl spicy mustard 2 tsps  prepared, jarred, horseradish (horseradish, vinegar and salt) 1 tbl hot sauce 1/4 cup dry white wine 2 tbls olive oil 2 tsps dry thyme 1 tsp black pepper 2 tsps salt When you cook down mushrooms some kind of molecular magic happens that turns bland, spongy fungi into a delectable culinary powerhouse. Add some wine and a few other components and you've got a deep, dark saucy ragout that will make anything you cover it with irresistible.  It's a simple mixture that yields complex tastes and textures.  It won't take up a lot of your time to make, but you'll have a hard time not eating it all in one sitting.  Start yo

Crunchy Matchstick Potatoes

So in my ongoing quest to utilize the common russet potato in new ways I've stumbled across an interesitng phenomena. I decided for no reason other than whimsy to cut my potatoes into the matchstick (also known as jullienne) shape.

I would be cooking them on the stovetop so a small cut was required. Normally I do a very small dice. And that works out well. It's easy to get them tender without burning them. I was feeling kinda lazy, so matchsticks were several less cuts. I assumed they would still have the same quick cooking properties as their slightly more petit cousins.

Turns out they do, but with an interesting twist. If you slightly undercook them they come out crispy and crunchy even after refrigeration. And yet they taste and feel like fully cooked, yet crunchy potatoes.

I hadn't originally intended to undercook any, but as I'm not a knife samurai, not all sticks were exactly the same size. Some were thoroughly cooked while others were still slightly under.

When I went to eat them the next day I discovered the slightly undercooked ones were still crisp and yet had a pleasant taste and texture.

Season with salt, pepper, marjoram and garlic powder.

I also like to drizzle mine with some hot sauce.