Buffalo Cauliflower Bites with Blue Cheese DipJanuary 24, 2017 By Cathy — 2 Comments
These spicy little bites are a healthy twist on Buffalo chicken wings and are a must for your Super Bowl party!
I love anything in Buffalo sauce. If you dipped my son’s stinky sneaker in it I would be hard-pressed not to eat it. Okay, a mild exaggeration, but you get my point. Maybe it’s the upstate NY girl in me, maybe it’s the lover of spice and a little heat, but if I see something slathered in Buffalo sauce on the menu I’m ordering it.
I’m all about the Buffalo chicken sandwich, Buffalo chicken salad and Buffalo chicken dip. I’m in for a big splash of Frank’s RedHot on my eggs and yes…I have made (and am mildly obsessed) with a Buffalo deviled egg (perhaps a future post?).
And of course there is no food more synonymous with football and especially Super Bowl parties, than Buffalo wings. Until…Buffalo cauliflower?
I’m not going to say these Buffalo cauliflower bites will turn you off from chicken wings forever, but they are seriously good. See, I get it. We’re still in January. We’re still exercising and cutting calories but frankly it’s exhausting. I’m not one to crash diet, but yeah, after a little slow and steady I’m finally feeling the holiday weight slough off and I’d like to keep it that way. And I really don’t want to think about it all the time.
I absolutely indulge here and there, but when I can have all the flavor and less than half the fat and calories? No brainer. Sign me up.
We’re big cauliflower people in my house. We love it crispy and crunchy; halved, marinated and roasted; pureed until smooth, or bathed in coconut curry. So naturally cauliflower was going to get the Buffalo treatment.
I tested quite a few different preparations, but today I’m sharing my fave. These cauliflower florets take a quick dunk in a buttermilk batter and are roasted until just golden brown. Then they take another dunk in a Sriracha Buffalo sauce bath and quick trip back to the oven to soak it all up. When they’re done, they’ve soaked in all that goodness, but don’t fall apart when you pick them up. I serve mine the classic way, with a cooling blue cheese dipping sauce and a few sticks of celery for crunch.
Now this is a party food you can get behind. Spicy, tangy, tasty, oh and yeah, a healthy twist on fried wings. Now, to be clear, I still know how to party. Trust me I’m not all carrot sticks and cucumbers. You can bet these wings and these sausage rolls will be showing up at our Super Bowl festivities and of course I’ll have a sweet treat or two. But in the interest of moderation and maintenance, it’s nice to have some options. And when moderation tastes like indulgence, well pass me a plate!
- Battered Cauliflower
- ½ cup corn starch
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- Buffalo Sauce
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
- 1½ Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- ½ cup Franks RedHot Sauce
- 2 Tbsp sriracha sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Blue Cheese Dip
- ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
- ⅓ cup creme fraiche
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Battered Cauliflower: Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the corn starch, flour, baking powder, salt and buttermilk until smooth in a medium bowl.
- Toss a few pieces of cauliflower into the batter at a time and use a slotted spoon to remove, shaking off excess batter.
- Place the cauliflower on the lined sheet pan, separating the pieces. Roast for 20-25 mins, until beginning to brown. Remove from the oven.
- Buffalo Sauce: While the cauliflower roasts, whisk together all of the ingredients for the Buffalo sauce and set aside.
- Blue Cheese Dip: While the cauliflower roasts, whisk together all of the ingredients for the blue cheese dip and set aside.
- To serve: Toss the roasted cauliflower in the Buffalo sauce and shake off the excess sauce. Reserve sauce.
- Place the cauliflower on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 5 mins.
- Serve with the blue cheese dip and reserved Buffalo sauce.