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 …

Reverse Beer Batter Tofu Dumplings over Spicy Ramen

First you'll need to marinate the tofu. Depending on what tofu you purchase you may need to drain and press it. If your tofu is sold stored in brine, then this step is very important. Drain it and press it between some paper towels and kitchen towels using cans for weight. Leave it drain for 1 hour.

For this application I recommend firm, but not extra firm tofu.

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tbls sriracha
1/4 cup canola oil

One 12-14 ounce package tofu

Cut tofu into one inch cubes. Marinate overnight in the fridge. Small pieces more easily absorb more of the marinade. After the tofu has marinated mash it with a fork until the tofu and marinade form a smooth, loose batter.

1-2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2-3/4 cup beer
All of the the tofu/marinade batter

Lightly whisk together 1 cup flour and baking powder. Pour in 1/2 cup beer. Whisk lightly to form a batter. Gently fold in tofu/marinade mixture. Stir as little as possible. You don't want to create gluten in the flour as this will turn your dumpling chewy. We want the end result batter to be somewhat loose, but just barely able to retain its shape. Add additional flour or beer as needed to achieve the correct consistency. Still stirring as little as possible.

My original thought was to fry these guys, but they turned out much better sauteed in a barely greased, non-stick skillet.

Drop by big spoonfuls into a hot pan and brown on both sides. You can use a ring cutter to make them pretty after they've cooled some.

3 oz packet dry ramen noodles, soy flavored
1 cup water
3  chile de arbol, broken, deseeded
1 guajillo pepper, broken, desseded
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 diced white onion
1 tbl minced jalapeno
1/2 cup kale, torn into small pieces

Cook noodles, flavor packet and all other ingredients except kale in the water in a small pot. Bring to a boil and simmer 2 minutes. Add kale and simmer 1 more minute.