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…

Revised * Vegan Mac and Cheese

There are a lot of vegan mac and cheese recipes all over the internet. What makes this one a little different is the use of silken tofu. I think it creates the ideal cheese sauce texture and viscosity.

Since tofu has no fat and real cheese has fat I used some olive oil to add the richness you'd expect.

White mushrooms add the umami factor to bring it all together. Some chick peas and their aquafaba complete the creaminess profile.

Cheese Sauce
1 12 ounce container silken firm tofu, drained
2/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 pint button mushrooms *** see revision notes below
1 tbl spicy mustard
1/3 cup chick peas + 2 tbls aquafaba
1/3 cup almond milk
3 cloves garlic
3 tbls olive oil
2 tsps turmeric
2 tsps paprika
3 tsps garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
3 tsps salt
2 tsps black pepper

This makes enough sauce for an entire box of elbow macaroni.

It's surprisingly easy to make. The list of ingredients migth seem kinda long, but most of them, if not all,  you probably already have on hand. Buzz up all the components in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

Pour sauce over cooked and drained macaroni. Retain a few tablespoons of the pasta water in the mix to starch things up a bit.

At this point you can simply serve it in a bowl and add your garnishes.

*** This version looks great and tastes great, however if you're not going to eat it all in one sitting the mushroom will turn it brown. Still tastes awesome, but not as pretty. If you need the color to last try cooked yellow corn or canned corn in place of the mushrooms.