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 …

Pickled Three Bean Salad

A woman I work with is absolutely wild about the Costco three bean salad. She had me try it and see. It was good. Meaty beans swimming in a rich Italian style dressing. Still, I thought, it could have a lot more depth.

This is my variation on that classic. Three different kinds of beans, shallots, mushrooms and dill pickles. It's a vegan paradise on a plate. This dish covers the gamut of flavor sensations. Tart, sweet, earthy, meaty, unctuous, hot, herbaceous, smokey and probably some others I've overlooked. It really is a wild ride for your palette.

1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can red beans, rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained, unrinsed, reserve 2 tbls can brine

1/4 cup dill pickles, diced
3 tbls dill pickle liquid
1 tps spicy mustard
1 tbl sriracha
1 tbl hot sauce
1 lime, zest and juice
1/2 ginger, grated
1/4 cup olive oil

5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 shallots, diced
1/2 pint white mushrooms, sliced
Two 1/4 cup portions white wine
1 tbl canola oil

1 poblano pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
1 serrano pepper

2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
1 tsps garlic powder

Cook mushrooms, shallots and garlic in canola oil until tender. Deglaze with 1/4 of wine. Cook until wine is dried up. Deglaze again with remaining 1/4 cup wine. Stir to scrape all the brown caramelized bits into the mixture. Cook until most of the liquid is gone. Set aside.

Cook all three kinds of pepper over an open flame until the skin is charred. Remove seeds and ribs and dice.

Add lime zest/juice, ginger, hot sauce, sriracha, mustard, pickle liquid, spices to a bowl. Whisk together. Then slowly whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the dill pickles, cooked mushroom mixture, peppers, beans and garbanzo brine.

Let chill a few hours in the fridge.

The picture up above is pretty, but here's what it looks like when you eat it like a regular human. A little messy, but really tasty and quite hearty.