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 …

Spicy Celery and Parsley Pesto

Celery is a very versatile vegetable. It seamlessly goes from a crunchy raw snack to a brilliant stock ingredient to the star of a delicious puree.

Parsley and celery are from the same family and complement each other really well. That's the magic behind this particular pesto.

The acid from white vinegar helps everything to pop.

Oregano and sage work well with the celery and parsley to add more depth.

As usual, there's some heat to round things out.

Try this pesto as a salad dressing, a sandwich enhancer, over pasta, rice,  or use it as a condiment on any dishl that needs a little more moisture, flavor or kick. It's got a gorgeous green color and an assertive punch of flavor.

The blender does all the work. You just enjoy the results.

2 cups celery chopped with at least 1/2 cup leaves
1 cup fresh parsley chopped
1/4 cup red onion sliced or chopped
3 cloves garlic peeled
2-3 jalapeno pepper ribs with seeds
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup pickle brine
1 tbl olive oil
1 tbl sriracha
1/4 tsp oregano, sage, ground garlic, chili powder, crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt, pepper

Buzz all ingredients in a blender until nicely pureed. Taste. Adjust spices if desired.

Transfer to a storage container and let mixture relax in the fridge at least a few hours.