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…

Mediterranean Lentil and Barley Risotto

1/2 a medium red onion, diced
6 ounces chopped white mushrooms
2 poblano peppers, chopped
1 cup sweet baby bell peppers, sliced into rings
2 jalapenos, minced
1/4 cup diced celery
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 pinches minced habernero

1 tbl olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
3-5 cups water
1/2up pearl barley
1/2 cup dry lentils

2 tsps paprika
3 tsps thyme
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp ground garlic
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

In an oversized, non-stick, skillet heat the oil. When oil is hot add onion, mushrooms, poblanos, jalapenos, celery, salt and pepper. Cook over medium high heat, stirring often. Cook until veg is slightlyy tender and very aromatic.

Add garlic, habernero. Keep cooking and stirring for another minute or two until garlic is fragrant and darkened slightly.

Add wine. Bring to a simmer and keep at a simmer for 5 minutes.

Add barley and lentils. Toast the barley and lentils for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups water and remaining spices. Stir. Cover. Let simmer til most of the water is absorbed and the lentils and barley begin to stick to the bottom of the pan and turn lightly brown.

Add 2 more cups water and scrape the pan to release all the browned bits. Continue simmering covered until lentils and barley are tender. There should still be a fair amount of saucy liquid in the pan.

Taste. Add a little more spices if desired. Stir, replace cover, turn off heat and let sit 5 more minutes.

Mixture should still be a little loose, with a nice amount of sauce in it.

If not, add 1/2 cup more water. Stir, replace cover, and let sit 5 more minutes.