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 …

Corn Pico de Gallo

This is a riff on pico de gallo, but not a straight up version. It uses basil rather than cilantro. It also has the addition of corn, which creates a really pleasing textural component. It's not a salsa though. It's crisper and and less runny than your typical salsa would be. It borrows from mexican, french and italian influences. But for the most part, it's simply a celebration of the great flavors summer fruits and vegetables have to offer

1-2 ears fire roasted corn, 1 1/2 cups
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 vine tomato, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, minced

3 tbls hot sauce
1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper
10 basil leaves, sliced thinly

Cook the corn dehusked over the flame of your gas burner on your stovetop until gently charred. Use tongs to turn it and get an even char. If you don't have a gas stovetop, you can cook it on an outdoor grill.

Cut the cooked corn off the cobs.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl that has a cover. Mix thoroughly, but gently. Chill for a while in the fridge before serving.