Sunday, July 5, 2015

Chickenless Nuggets with Harissa Mayo

Ok, you can admit it, chicken nuggets are the sort of thing that most food-conscious people are pretty horrified at, even the so called natural versions. Really, do yourself a favor and do not look at the ingredients. Just eat in terrible guilty pleasure and be done with it.

Or, make these chickenless version and eat guilt free!

Freezing tofu, defrosting it and squeezing out the liquid turns it into a sponge and marinating it in faux chicken broth gives it a wonderful flavor and texture. It's light, and crisps beautifully when fried and has a subtle chicken flavor. It seems like a long process, but planning ahead is really the only requirement, and that's not hard!

Make a double batch, because trust me, just like their hideous unnatural counterparts, these are totally addictive and you'll want more. The good news is, you can gorge without shame!

Don't feel tied to the harissa mayonnaise; since there was some homemade harissa in the house (whoot whoot!) we added it to some mayonnaise and dipped to our heart's content. But any dipping sauce of choice - BBQ, Ranch, Bleu Cheese dressing - would probably be just as delicious!

Chickenless Nuggets with Harissa Mayo (from 40 Aprons)
(serves 2-3)

1 block (lb) firm tofu
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
10 grinds black pepper
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried onion
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
oil for frying
harissa (make your own!)

Drain tofu of any liquid and place in a resealable bag and freeze until solid (at least 24 hours). Remove from freezer and totally defrost; carefully squeeze out any extra moisture. Slice into 1 inch slabs and place in plastic container. Combine 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning with veggie stock and pour over tofu and marinate for at least 24 hours and up to several days. Drain and cut into cubes 1 inch by 1 inch and set aside on paper towels or a dish cloth to drain of extra moisture.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Combine flour with yeast, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning, dried garlic, onion and cayenne and mix well. Roll cubes in flour mixtures and set aside. Pour enough oil into the skillet to 1/4 inch depth and fry cubed tofu on all sides until crisped. Combine mayonnaise with harissa to taste and serve immediately.


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