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. 

Ingredients
1/2 box pasta, cooked to al dente

2 ounces dried fancy mushroom mix, big pieces broken or diced
1 pint …

Spicy Barbecue Tofu

Tofu tends to get a bad rap. If it's not prepared properly it can feel like eating an old sponge and taste of absolutely nothing. On the other hand, when treated well, tofu can be a scrumptious treat for the senses as well as powerful nourishment for the body.

I first fell in love with tofu through my local Chinese takeout. They have deep fried tofu with sauteed vegetables. Deep fried tofu has the perfect chewy exterior and pillowy soft center. It tastes of all the vegetables, oil and soy sauce from the wok.

I've experimented with cooking tofu at home. I don't really deep fry. But there are other great ways to prepare tofu as a main protein. I like to broil it. I use a classic meat eaters method to give it flavor. I brush it with a glaze before and mid cooking. It works brilliantly both in terms of flavor and texture.

It's totally vegan.

Ingredients
1 package extra firm tofu
4 tbls olive oil
2 tbls hot sauce
2 tbls sriracha
1 tbl apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp dry basil
1/4 tsp black pepper

Prepare your tofu the day before. Drain.. Transfer to an open container. Slice the block into 1/4 inch pieces. No need to separate the slices. Just slice through and keep it as an otherwise intact block. This creates airflow for the fridge to dry it out. Allow to drain and dry uncovered in the fridge overnight.

Place pre-cut slices on a sheet pan and brush with half of the glaze.

Broil on high for 15 minutes.

Carefully use a butter knife, fork or very thin spatula to turn each slice over. Brush with remaining glaze.

Continue to broil for 12 more minutes.

Turn off the oven, but leave the tofu inside.

Remove from oven when the tofu is dried out on the edges and not quite firm in the middle. About 15 more minutes.

Afer you remove it from the oven, allow to cool 10 minutes before enjoying.

Store leftovers in original container you used to dry it out and cover loosely. Make sure the cover is loose so moisture can escape and air can circulate. It will firm up a little more as it rests.