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 …

Black Bean and Corn Chowder in Vegan Brown Gravy

I had the idea to use the starchy, salty liquid from the can of black beans as a foundation for dark sauce. I was going for something thick, salty and rich resembling a traditional beef gravy minus the dead cow.

The trick to thickening it up is to add a slice of toasted bread. You store the finished product in the fridge with the slice of bread for at least a few hours and the sauce turns into a nice, viscous gravy.

You can use this technique whenever you want to take a thin sauce and tighten it up a bit.

The main is a simple black bean and corn chowder spiced with peppers and onions.

1 poblano, diced
1 can yellow corn with liquid
1 can black beans, plus 1/2 the liquid
1 cup diced potatoes
1  jalapeno, sliced
1 serrano, sliced
1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup scallions, sliced
5 clove garlic, sliced
1/2 inch ginger, grated
1 lime, zest and juice

2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup vodka
1/4 cup beer
1 tbl olive oil

2 tsps dill
2 tsps savory
1 tsps paprika
1 tsp cayenne
2 tsps salt
2 tsp black pepper