Monday, January 17, 2011

buffalo things

these buffalo things were inspired by the buffalo things at vita cafe in portland, and it's a bit absurd that more restaurants don't serve these little wonders...

thing ingredients:

1 16 oz package of firm tofu
unbleached flour (about a cup)
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tbsp paprika
1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons milk (i used unsweetened soy)
salt and pepper to taste
(canola oil for frying)

sauce ingredients:

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp tabasco sauce
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste

dipping sauce ingredients:

3 tbsp buttermilk
2 tbsp plain greek yogurt
1/4 cucumber, finely grated
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 tsp dry dill
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste

set deep fryer with 2 inches of canola oil (or pan with 2 inches of oil) to 360 F.

these things turn out best when the tofu is not overly moist. after removing the tofu from its packaging,  squeeze out as much liquid as possible without ruining the shape of the brick. cut the tofu into strips and additionally squeeze those. then take the strips, sprinkle them with salt to draw out some of their moisture, and wrap them in a single layer with an absorbent cloth napkin or towel. apply direct pressure with a plate and weight set upon the strips and allow to drain for at least 1 hour. once the tofu has been thoroughly drained, cover each strip with a coating of flour. take the flour coated strips and dip them in a mixture made from 1 beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of milk. the battered strips are then dipped in an additional layer of flour. for the second coating, add the 1/2 tsp cayenne, tbsp paprika, salt and pepper to the remaining flour. once the strips have been floured, battered, and re-floured they are ready to be fried for approximately 5-7 minutes, or until nicely golden brown. remember to allow the things space to fry, overcrowding the oil will reduce its temperature and result in soggy things. ick.

once your things are fried, they are ready to be coated in deliciousness, but it's better to have the dipping sauce made before coating the things to maintain their crispiness. for the dipping sauce, combine yogurt, buttermilk, cucumber, garlic, dill, cayenne, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. mix well. ta-da!

to make the buffalo sauce, melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat, then add the tabasco, vinegar, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. toss the things in the buffalo sauce, and serve immediately with carrots and celery for dipping.



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