Alright. I give up. I'm officially throwing in the towel. After 23 years of trying to make nice and act blandly entertained, I can't do it anymore. I despise football. With a fiery hatred.
There are some sports I simply find boring or off-putting (I'm looking at you, speedwalking.) But I so dislike American football that it's become anger-inducing. I am completely incapable of seeing where the entertaining bit lies. Hockey and basketball are fast-paced and dangerous. Baseball is an engaging combination of strategy, physical skill and fit men in tight pants. Curling is both weird and difficult enough that I have a sneaking suspicion it's secretly awesome.
But football? Really, America? THAT one is our favorite? The one where every 37.2 seconds we stop and talk for ten minutes? Senior center chair yoga is more action-packed. I just don't like sitting through three hours of game and commercials for approximately 15 minutes' play time involving any legitimate physical prowess or strategy. Between being a fan of neither the ol' pigskin nor chicken wings, the Superbowl is simply not my kind of holiday. So I'm going to give myself a break, and for the first time in memory, not attend a Superbowl party. I won't even go within spitting distance of a television. My evening is going to be throroughly un-Blue-blooded American Sportsfan.However, just because I am a Superbowl grinch doesn't mean I don't feel for the vegan football fans out there who have to subsist on chips, salsa and beer for the duration of the game. So I've put together a recipe that should satisfy vegans and meateaters, Coloradoites and Washingtonians, football-fans and football-toleraters alike. A grinch and a peacekeeper, both, that's me.
Buffalo Tempeh Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Blanch Dressing Ahem. Yes. Some explanation. Before you go either the Golden Girls or Streetcar route, let me clarify by saying that the blanch dressing is a cross between blue cheese and ranch dressing. Now, don't get overwhelmed by the amount of recipes listed below- yes, there are several different things to make, but each is incredibly easy, and this doesn't take as long to throw together as you'd think. First off, caramelize some onions:
1 onion, sliced
1 tbsp Earth Balance
2 tsp balsamic vinegar (I used serrano-honey, YUM)
Melt the Earth Balance in a skillet and add the onions, then toss to coat them. Cook for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes. If they start to dry out and stick to the pan too much, add a splash of water. When they're as soft and dark as you'd like, add the vinegar and scrape up all the delicious caramelized bits off the pan (FYI: that stuff is called the fond).
You can prepare everything else while the onions are cooking.
4 tbsp Frank's Red Hot (you can use other brands if you'd like, but it a) won't be authentically "Buffalo," at least according to this particular upstate girl, and b) don't use Tabasco. Aside from generally feeling like it's a sub-par hot sauce, it simply doesn't work in a buffalo sauce)
4 tbsp Earth Balance butter
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (add more or less depending how much heat you'd like)
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp minced garlic
Melt the butter and whisk in all the other ingredients. Set aside.
1/3 cup veganaise
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2-1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
Alright, these are just ballpark estimates. I did use 1/3 cup veganaise and 1 tbsp tahini. Past that I added a bit more vinegar and lemon juice, and several dashes of nutritional yeast. So just taste and adjust as you go.
1/4 cup cashew meal
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 8 oz block tempeh
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tbsp veganaise
olive oil for frying
Whisk together the almond milk and veganaise til completely blended and there aren't any lumps, then pour into a shallow bowl.
Whisk together the cashews, bread crumbs, garlic and yeast and put in another shallow bowl. Slice the tempeh into strips and roll in the milk, then in the bread crumbs til well coated, patting to make sure they stick if necessary.
Coat the bottom of a pan with oil and heat on high. When hot enough to sizzle, fry the tempeh strips, a couple minutes on each side, til golden brown and crispy. Slice into small chunks and toss in a bowl with Buffalo sauce, stirring to coat.
your favorite pizza dough (I just used store bought, but I've been itching to try this one)
Breaded tempeh tossed in Buffalo sauce
finely ground cornmeal
Roll out your pizza dough and put it on a pizza stone (preheat it in the oven) dusted with cornmeal. Top it with the onions and tempeh and bake according to your pizza dough's recipe. Top with blanch dressing and enjoy!