Cauliflower—The Amazingly Transmutable Food
Cauliflower is enjoying some quality time in the spotlight lately due mostly to its uncanny versatility. Steamed, chopped and blended with cooked millet, it turns into a fluffy, satisfying mashed potato substitute; or chopped, cooked, drained and mixed with shredded cheese and eggs, it can be formed into a no-carb pizza crust! The possibilities are practically endless, but with a little experimentation, you might find this common garden veggie to take center stage in your kitchen.
Just in time for New Year’s celebrations and big game day parties, we are proud to present our new favorite, knock-your-socks-off cauliflower recipe Buffalo Cauli Wings! It seems that nobody told cauliflower that it couldn’t be chicken when it grew up, so this talented vegetable makes up an amazing, guaranteed crowd pleasing, vegetarian dish. It’s a fairly guilt-free, definitely tasty recipe that is also easy to adjust for gluten-free or vegan folks!
The recipe is a two-part process. The raw florets are first coated with a lightly seasoned batter and then baked to give the bite-sized pieces a ‘skin’ that will give added texture as well as an extra absorbent layer to hold the spicy sauce. A second trip to the oven after being coated in hot pepper sauce sets the toasty flavor in the baked batter and tenderizes the cauliflower. We highly recommend using parchment to line the baking sheet to help keep the batter coating from sticking to the baking sheet. One recipe uses an average head of cauliflower and serves 2-4, but one taste, and you’ll be wanting the whole batch for yourself!
Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
1 medium head of cauliflower cut into florets (approximately 4-5 cups total)
½ cup milk (non-dairy rice, soy, almond, coconut or cashew milk all work great)
½ cup water
¾ cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free flour works as well)
3 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 Tablespoon butter or non-dairy butter substitute, melted
1 cup hot sauce
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Mix milk, water, flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt and cayenne together. The batter should be thin but thick enough to coat the florets. Adjust with more flour or liquid if necessary.
Toss the florets in the batter to coat evenly, allow excess to drip off, and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet so that the pieces are not touching.
Bake 25 minutes, turning the pieces over halfway through baking. They will be golden brown and crispy when done.
While the cauliflower is baking, prepare the wing sauce: stir together the melted butter and hot sauce in a large bowl.
Remove the florets from the oven, gently lift off the baking sheet, and place in bowl with hot coating.
Toss to coat evenly, allow excess to drip off, and return to parchment-lined baking tray.
Bake another 25 minutes, turning the pieces halfway through the baking time.
Serve immediately with ranch dressing and fresh celery sticks.
Thanks to hotforfoodblog.com for the original inspiration for this recipe.
Author: Kat B.