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 …

Curried Cauliflower Steak

Again I'm indulging my penchant for combining Latin and Indian flavors. This time creating a curry sauce which includes traditional Indian spices and some Latin additions to shake things up a bit.

Curry Mix
3 chilies de arbol, deseeded, broken into small pieces
Guajillo, deseeded, torn into small pieces
3 pieces allspice
2 cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsps salt

1 lime, zest and juice
3 small cloves garlic, broken in half
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbl vodka

1 head fresh cauliflower

Buzz up the spices in a grinder. Mix with liquids in a small bowl until a thin paste is formed.

Slice cauliflower in half down the center and then slice 1/2 inch thick slices from the center of each half outward. The innermost slices should hold together nicely. As you slice further outward the cauliflower will start to break up into smaller slices and eventually at its outermost you'll only get florets.

Lay your best slices out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Line it will foil or you'll turn your baking sheet yellow from the curry mix.

Use a brush to paint the cauliflower slices with the sauce mix.

Add the smaller pieces of cauliflower to the bowl with the remaining sauce in it. Add a little more oil and vodka if necessary. Toss to coat. Add contents of the bowl, including liquid, to a separate baking sheet. Arrange cauliflower pieces in a single layer

Bake in the bottom third of the oven at 450 F for about 15-20 minutes or until cauliflower is nicely charred.