Wild Mushroom Pasta

I'm a big fan of Good Eats and Alton Brown. I've learned a lot from him. So when he suggested that dried exotic mushrooms were an umani flavor bomb I took to amazon to procure some. 

When you only cook with and eat plants, sources of deep and real flavor are important. 

His advice was spot on. I got a dried exotic mushroom mix and used it in my pressure cooker to create a sauce/broth for pasta and even though I forgot to add olive oil, it still had tons of flavor. 
After the pressure cook was finished I added the oil I forgot and cooked it off for a  few minutes. I then stirred it into my precooked pasta. Let it rest 5 minutes to tighten up. It was a perfect sauce to enrobe my pasta. . 

Dried exotic mushrooms are not cheap. But if you don't eat/cook with animal products, they feel like a bargain. There's so much flavor to be had. It's worth it and then some. 

1/2 box pasta, cooked to al dente

2 ounces dried fancy mushroom mix, big pieces broken or diced
1 pint …

Unfried Fries

Sometimes when I have a few potatoes left over after having roasted off most of the 5 lb bag I'll try out new things on the remainder. Finely diced potatoes slowly cooked in a saute pan are easy and pretty good. I've mentioned them in other posts.

Once or twice I've given matchstick potatoes a try.

I've learned the trick is to cook them to almost burnt. You'll get a texture and flavor similar to a french fry, but without the added fat of deep frying.

Cut your raw potatoes into 1/4 thick by 2-4 inch long matchsticks.

Heat a very large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Lubricate it with a teaspoon of your favorite oil. Make sure the oil is pretty hot before adding your potatoes. Heat the oil at least 1-2 minutes.

Add potatoes to loosely fill the pan. Sprinkle with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Cover and cook for about 7 minutes. Then turn as best you can to make sure the other sides get browned the same.

Season with fresh ground black pepper.

Try a potato stick after 10 minutes. If they are almost done, remove the lid and continue cooking. Your goal is to get the potatoes evenly browned on as many sides as possible.

Keep cooking the potatoes until you're sure they're about to burn. Then remove form the heat. Cook in batches. Don't overcrowd the pan.

If you brown the potatoes enough on the outside, the result will be a crisp texture with a lightly soft interior.

Add additional salt and pepper when finished. Some dill is also nice. Rub the dill between your fingers as you sprinkle it over the potatoes to release all of the flavor.

While they're not genuine french fries they have a similar texture and taste and way less fat and calories.