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 …

White Girl Vegetarian (or Vegan) Curry

Here is an image of my vegetarian curry on a bed of romaine lettuce and topped with a scoop of hummus.

This curry is inspired by the Kitchen's of India pouches, but is made using Hormel vegetarian chili in a can as a base.

That stuff's kinda bland on its own, but makes an awesome starting point for some pretty good curry.

I start with white rice. Cook it as usual in water. Half the reccomend dosage of water,  but I like to add a tbl of curry powder to the rice cooking water. A couple of teabags, a tsp of butter and a tsp of salt.

After the rice has cooked for about 10 minutes, I add one small diced russet potato. Skin on,  cut into about 1/4 inch cubes and 1/2 cup dry white wine. At this point also remove the teabags and discard.

Check the rice often and add additional water as needed.

When the rice is nearly done (about 17 minutes) I add the can of chili, a can of rinsed chick peas, 2 tbls pickle juice, 7 cloves fresh minced garlic, 1 finely diced, seeded, deribbed jalapeno, 1/4 teaspoon fiery hot sauce, 1 tsp ground ginger, and 1-2 tbls more curry powder, depending on my mood.

Continue cooking until the rice is tender and everything is warmed through, about 2-3 more minutes.

You can eat this hot straight off the stove. I suggest letting it sit in the fridge at least a few hours to allow the flavors a chance to do their thing.

Cool completely before serving over crisp lettuce and garnishing with your favorite flavor of spicy, creamy hummus.

This could be totally vegan if you just swap the butter for oil or vegan margarine. You could also half the fat if desired. Just don't omit the fat altogether. Fat is a flavor magnet. Even using a little bit makes a big difference in taste.