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 …

Cucumber Salsa 2.0

I've done cucumber salsa recipes before. This new version takes a cleaner,  more refined approach.

By now it's no secret that I love spicy cuisines like Mexican, Indian and Thai. For me the complex heat and spice profiles they provide are the perfect way to make vegan food really pop.

This version of cucumber salsa is simpler,  but actually packs a bigger flavor punch into a less fussy recipe. This definitely takes a less is more approach.

Bright acid from the lime, a little heat from the peppers and fresh diced summer tomato and cucumber dance on the palate.

1 large cucumber, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 poblano, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced

2 1/2 tbls olive oil
1 1/2 tbls hot sauce
1 lime, zest and juice

2 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Toss gently to mix well.  Allow to chill for a few hours in the fridge.

After their stay in the fridge, the cucumber and tomato will have released their juices. Stir again before serving to thoroughly incorporate those flavors into the salsa dressing.

A refreshing and hydrating summer salsa with a touch of heat. Simple to make. Excellent to eat.