Vegan Recipe: Wild Mushroom and Artichoke Risotto

Fancy dried mushrooms combine with baby bellas and marinated artichokes to produce an earthy and tangy risotto more than capable of standing up to any traditional version. 

1 pint baby bella mushrooms, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1/3 cup fancy dried mushrooms, diced (such as chanterelles and morels)
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup arborio rice
2 shallots, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 tbls salt
2 tsps black pepper
2 tsps dry thymeI got a large bag of 'chef's blend' fancy dried mushrooms on amazon. It's great for adding umami depth to broths and sauces. 

A mushroom risotto is awesome with just humble mushrooms, but add some more exotic ones as well, and you've really got something. 

Normally I'll use tomato for acid in a risotto, but this time I went with artichokes. I love artichokes. They offer a unique flavor and texture that creates an entirely different risotto experience. I know there is a certa…

Asian Barbecue Tofu Cubes

I watch a lot of cooking shows and whenever they want to make the competitors sad they give them tofu. It's the ingredient no one seems to understand how to use. 

When I see tofu as a main ingredient in a cooking show I get excited. It's awesome. I love it. 

The key to tofu is understanding the different kinds and how each can best be utilized. And also knowing how to manipulate the texture. The reason most people don't enjoy tofu isn't its lack of flavor. Any good cook can add flavor. It's the texture that puts people off. But it's not that difficult to take the inherent properties of tofu and use them to your advantage. 

Silkens... always in a puree or sauce. They are a perfect vegan substitute for the texture of cream or mayo. The firms... dehydrate them and give them chew. 

In this recipe little cubes of extra firm tofu are marinated in a salty and spicy mixture and then cooked off in a cast iron skillet to achieve a smokey flavor and a slightly chewy exterior with a tender inside. 

I actually had to rush to take the photo for this because it was so good that I was afraid I'd eat it all to quickly. 

1 package extra firm tofu
3 tbls soy sauce
3 tbls hot sauce
1 tbl olive oil
2 tsps aleppo pepper flakes
2 tsps garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp black pepper

There's no salt in the ingredients list because the soy sauce already has plenty. 

Drain the tofu. Place in an open vessel with a folded over paper towel on the bottom.

Slice it into 1/2 inch slices down the block. Then slice in the other direction in 1/2 inch increments as well. 

Allow to dry out in the fridge at least 4 hours. Overnight is better. 

Whisk together the other ingredients in a small bowl. 

Carefully lay down the tofu slices on their sides and cut into cubes. 

Gently roll each cube in the marinade to coat and them add to a cast iron skillet. 

Cook on the stovetop over medium high heat until the downward facing side begins to crust. Stir and continue to cook 5 more minutes. 

Transfer skillet to center of your oven with the broiler set on high and cook for 10 minutes. 

Turn off oven, but leave the skillet of tofu in the oven for 20 more minutes. 

Store unused portion uncovered in the fridge.