Apparently, there are a lot of exciting sporting events happening these days. I am not much of a sports fan, and I don't think I've ever deliberately turned on ESPN. But, from what I hear, there are quite a few football, baseball and even basketball games on television on any given weekend in the Fall. Don't ask me what teams are playing, because I simply do not care. One thing I do care about, though, is snacks. I am a huge snacks fan.
The few times I've decided to sit down and watch a professional football game with my friends, it's primarily been because I was promised hot wings. I love the combination of crispy, chewy fried protein and spicy vinegar sauce. But, a couple of years ago, I gave up eating chicken. How could I hang out with my favorite hens, Peggy and Tina, and then go inside and chow down on the fried wings of their unlucky factory chicken relatives?
Several weeks ago, I came up with a nice solution to this little conundrum, and I thought I should share it with other devoted snack (and sports) fans. It provides the crispy/chewy consistency of hot wings, plus the delicious spiciness, without the actual wings. I don't really have a name for this dish, so let's go with, um, Crispy Spicy Tofu Bricks. If anyone can think of a better name, let me know.
1 pkg firm or extra-firm tofu
1 bottle Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
2 cups canola oil
4 stalks celery
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (2 ounces)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon milk
Cut tofu block in half lengthwise and press out the water by squishing it between two cutting boards. Put paper towels on the top and bottom to soak up the water. After the tofu is pressed, cut it into rectangular strips about the size of your thumb. Place it in a container and add about 1 cup of hot sauce, coating the tofu. Put in the fridge to marinate at least an hour.
Make the dip.
Cut the celery into manageable pieces.
Combine the flour, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper on a plate. Heat the oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, start dredging the tofu in the flour mixture, covering all sides. (It should be wet enough that you don't need to dip it in egg or milk.) Place the flour-covered tofu in the hot oil, laying it on one of the long sides, and fry it until it turns golden brown. Flip tofu onto the next side, and fry until that side is golden brown. Repeat until all four long sides are golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel.
Put the tofu on a plate and dress with more hot sauce to taste. Serve with dip and celery.
Pretend to watch sporting event while consuming as many Crispy Spicy Tofu Bricks as possible.
*Taken from this recipe on epicurious.com