If you’ve somehow managed to never experience the amazing cuteness and guileless joy that is Puppy Bowl, hie thee to that link up there and watch the recaps immediately. The suckiest of days can be brightened by puppies rolling and tackling and chewing on stuffed footballs (and, it must be said, occasionally on each other). If you fancy felines, the Kitty Halftime Show is a spectacle all its own. The chicken cheerleaders looked kind of bored and the hamsters piloting the blimp weren’t manning their controls very diligently, but luckily all disasters were averted.
Such a hotly anticipated sporting event calls for plenty of nutrition-optional snacks, am I right? Puppy Bowl is the one day a year when I deep-fry things. (I initially mistyped that as “deep-fry Tings,” and I don’t know about you, but deep-fried Tings might just kill me with awesome). Our game-day standby is buffalo tofu, but this year we decided to add to the fun with Hell Yeah It’s Vegan!’s mozzarella sticks.
I was quite nervous about the mozzarella sticks, because vegan cheese can be fickle even when superheated oil is not involved. Here’s me, mid-preparation, batter-covered Lady Gaga hands and all:
Ready for freezing (a crucial pre-frying step):
Red handled the frying while I hovered nearby. (Note: We used peanut oil, and I am a total convert now. It beats the hell out of canola oil for all your high-heat endeavors.) Despite my fears, HYIV’s recipe worked exactly as promised, and the rewards were reaped with a generous side of spaghetti sauce (out of a jar, because what else did you think?):
They were really good! Of course, deep-fried Styrofoam would probably taste good, but I quite enjoyed my vegan mozzarella sticks. They held together very well and were appropriately gooey, if only for a minute or two. They firm up quickly, as HYIV notes, but if you’re down for DIYing your own greasy diner food, these are right up your alley.
The buffalo tofu was less fraught, because we’ve made that before. We decided to go for the gold and make two pounds this year, and that almost did me in. It took a while, probably about an hour, to fry all of it. I was tired of battering by that point, and Red was tired of frying. It was all worth it, though:
This tofu is always delicious, with a nice crispy coating and messy sauce. Why am I trying to sell you on these? Just go make them. I have decided that buffalo sauce on anything is never wrong, and I never even liked buffalo wings, so there. We have so much left over, I’ll be snacking on it all week.
Red tried to be the healthy one by adding dippable veggies to his feast:
I didn’t even bother. We settled in to scarf our noms and squee over the puppies. This year, there were two adorable pittie contenders! Way to go, Animal Planet, for including bully pups and promoting their adoption.
This little lover is Thirteen, a pit mix from Ohio. Look at those ears! And that perfect little eyepatch! Photo courtesy of Animal Planet.
Sweet Sadie is an APBT from Connecticut. I love brindle pups! Photo courtesy of Animal Planet.
Of course, I also nibbled some Tings during the second half. I didn’t take a picture of them, though. Once the game ended, it started all over again in a never-ending loop of cuteness. Calorifically sated, I curled up in the recliner to doze off to puppy yaps and referee whistles (and David Duchovny’s wonderful voice during the Pedigree commercials) while Lucy, true to form, spazzed at the sight of a stinkbug in the dining room. If only every Sunday was this great.