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 …

American Curry Vegan

I'm going to call this American Curry because it's much, much simpler than a traditional Asian curry of any of those nations. I love curry. But I also love simplicity...When just a few ingredients are given the chance to really shine.

Turmeric and paprika are two of my favorite spices. Put them together with a few supporting players and the results are comparable to all the work of traditional curries.

1 poblano pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 long hot pepper, sliced thinly
1 serrano pepper, minced
1 inch of ginger, grated
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced, plus the skin
1/2 bunch scallions, sliced on the bias
1 earl grey tea bag

2 1/2 tsps turmeric
2 1/2 tsps paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
2 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

3 cups water
2 tbls olive oil
1/4 cup boiled diced potatoes, they should be soft and mushy
1 can drained, rinsed  beans of choice

I used a mesh loose tea/spice container to hold the onion skin/root in the pot to extract the flavor and easily remove ti after.

I'm not a tea drinker. I don't even like tea. But I used to buy an authentic Indian curry mix that had tea as a main ingredient.  A little tea in a curry adds a pronounced depth and umami in a minimal amount of time.

Add everything except potatoes and beans to a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil uncovered and then simmer for 15 minutes.

By now your stock should be pretty dark and full of flavor. If not, continue reducing for 5-10 more minutes until you feel the flavors are intense.

Add beans and simmer another 5 minutes. The beans you use are preference. I like red, black or garbanzo in this sauce.

Add potatoes and stir or whisk in until fully incorporated. They will thicken the sauce. Simmer another 5 minutes.

This is a very simple to execute curry sauce, but it delivers complex flavor.