These super lean times have also rekindled my love affair with bare-bones staples. As I mentioned in the last few recipes, I love working on bare-bones recipes not only because they’re so cheap, but because I’m practically forced to put on my thinking cap to get more creative than usual. And when I can create a special treat for myself that is delicious and aesthetically pleasing, I can sit back, relax, and temporarily forget my troubles. That’s part of why Poor Girl insists on eating so well: a good meal can be the one bright spot in one’s day, and that’s worth every ounce of effort I put into it.
Tofu fries are not new. Many vegetarians have been doing interesting things with tofu for years, and this is one of the results. But as an omnivore, it’s good for me to look at tofu in a different way – basically, like a bare-bones staple that can be worked into all sorts of recipes. Like most folks, I tend to play it safe with tofu, using it mainly in soups & stir fry recipes. But since I’m such a fan of the parmesan-crusted tofu I serve alongside my garlic soba noodles, I figured it’d be fun to try an even crispier version, preferably with an interesting dip to go alongside it.
Enter Sriracha sauce.
Loved by many and the object of many internet comics and memes, this fiery chili sauce is the ingredient du jour right now. Everyone loves Sriracha! And how could we not? It’s tangy, it’s spicy, it wakes up your senses and clears out your sinuses in one fell swoop, adding color and fire to almost any savory dish you can find.
And it makes an excellent addition to plain ol’ ketchup.
Again, I’m sure it’s been done before, for there are many Sriracha experimenters out there. But I only discovered this for myself quite by accident the other day, when I blindly pulled out a bottle of something reddish to go with my scrambled eggs, only to have the top of my head blown off by the fiery of a dollop of red sauce I’d just licked off my finger (this is why you should not assemble dinner for yourself when you’re on a long-distance call). Crap…. that was supposed to be ketchup!!!
Not being one to waste anything, I quickly went into rescue mode, adding a dollop of quiet, mild-mannered ketchup to the small puddle of flames sitting next to my eggs, swirling it around until it was perfectly blended. One quick taste and I was SOLD! This is pretty much the condiment of the gods, and now I want to eat it with everything.
I realize there are homemade sriracha and homemade ketchup recipes out there and that I could probably tackle them with aplomb (in fact, I already have with the latter! There’s your first sneak peek at what’ll be in the book, lol. ). But for this recipe, which is something that should be easy and fun, I just stick with the pros: Sriracha & Heinz. It took me a while to find the right Sriracha-to-ketchup ratio for me, and you may find that you prefer a different ratio, which is totally okay. Feel free to make this as mild or as spicy as your little heart desires! But you might want to reserve a special container for it: it’s so good, you probably won’t want to waste the 2 seconds it takes to mix it together before you dig in. At least, I don’t!