Garam Masala Lentils

I've always been curious about garam masala. It certainly sounds interesting and tasty.

It's similar to a curry. A blend of spices. But it's less complex than a curry blend. It's usually used as a starting point and additional spices are added.

I got some as a gift and decided to try it with lentils and barley in a curry.

If you like curry and haven't yet tried adding garam masala, you should. It's easy to get online. It adds a whole new level of depth.

I love lentils in a curry because they need a lot of flavor and they bring texture as well as thickening properties. You don't want a loose or watery curry.

I made a huge batch. This yielded 2.5 quarts of food. So you may want to halve the measurements.

1 red bell pepper, diced
2 poblano peppers, diced
2 jalapenos, minced
2 serranos, minced
5 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup fresh kale
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup dry pearl barley
1 can coconut milk
3 heaping spoonfuls of my hari…

Caramelized Mushroom Steak with Brandy Cream Sauce Vegan

Completely inspired by the umami of mushrooms and the culinary clout of French brandy cream sauce.

The mushrooms are dark and deeply caramelized like little slices of vegan steak.

The mushrooms, caramelized onions along with the other ingredients in the pan come together to create the rich and creamy French style savory brandy sauce.

It's easy too. All the magic happens inside one large frying pan.

1 pint sliced white mushrooms
1/4 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 poblano, julienned
1 jalapeno, sliced into rings
1 serrano, sliced into rings
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

1 can red beans/brine
1/4 cup brandy
3 tbls olive oil
3 tbls vegan mayo
1/4 cup water

2 tsps celery seed
2 tsps paprika
1 tsp cayenne
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

Saute mushrooms and onion in 2 tbls of the olive oil and 1 tsp of salt until nicely caramelized. About 10 minutes. When mushrooms and onions are nicely browned on one side, turn over and brown the other side. It's this deep browning that will provide flavor and depth for our pan sauce and give the mushrooms their meaty flavor..

Deglaze with brandy. Cook off for 5 minutes.  If you're not using non-stick, you could try flambeing the brandy.

Add beans, brine, garlic, peppers, spices, remaining salt,  water and remaining oil. Simmer briskly, stirring often until sauce begins to tighten. Careful not to over reduce. When sauce is somewhat thickened, but not quite true sauce consistency turn off heat and stir in vegan mayo. Stir thoroughly to fully incorporate. Let rest several minutes to thicken up til it coats the back of a spoon.