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 …

Kale and Mushroom Soup

I made this in a effort to get more calcium into my diet. When you cook kale more of the calcium is available to the body. I'm hoping the vitamin c from the kale is preserved since it's a soup. C leeches into water, but since we're consuming the water (broth), we should, in theory, still get it. The mushrooms provide potassium.

I wanted to keep it relatively simple. Let the core ingredients shine. Just let time and heat work their magic on some humble veg. You could add some beans to this to make it heartier. I wanted to keep it light.

10 oz white mushrooms, chopped small
1/2 medium red onion, diced
6 cups loosely packed kale, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbls apple cider vinegar
6 cups water
1 tbl salt
3 tsps black pepper

In a large sauce pot cook down the mushrooms and onions in the oil and salt until nice and dark. Deglaze with wine. Cook off wine for 5 minutes. Add garlic and brandy and deglaze again. Cook off brandy for 5 minutes.

Add kale, water, black pepper and vinegar. The vinegar will turn the kale dark, but it doesn't matter. The long cooking we're going to subject it to would do the same.

Bring to a boil and them simmer until reduced by half. About 20 minutes.