After dining at a small restaurant off of Highway One, I fell in love with their “hot wings” made with cauliflower instead of chicken. Not only were deliciously addictive, I loved not having a pile of chicken bones left behind. I decided to go home and make a batch myself, which, from my friends’ reactions, are now going to be a staple for game days or any casual get together.
Cauliflower buffalo “wings”
serves 8-10 as an appetizer
For the sauce…
1, 12oz bottle, of ‘Franks red hot sauce’
1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons of champagne (or white wine) vinegar
pinch of salt
For the beer batter…
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
2 12 oz cans of beer
2 tablespoons of salt
2 heads of cauliflower, cut into small florets, about 1 inch pieces
canola oil (for deep frying)
- Pour the canola oil into a medium to deep pot so the oil is at least 3 inches deep. Heat until the oil reaches 365 F. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the oil by carefully dropping a small about of batter into the oil and if it immediately starts to bubble and float to the top, the oil is ready.
- In a medium size sauce pan, pour Franks red hot sauce and vinegar over medium heat. Add the butter a few cubes at a time and swirl into the hot sauce until completely melted and mixed evenly into the sauce. Add a pinch of salt and stir to mix well. Keep this sauce on the stove, to stay warm.
- Meanwhile whisk the all-purpose flour, egg, and beer together, until completely mixed.
- Dip the cauliflower florets until totally submerged into the batter. With a slotted spoon (or your hands) take the cauliflower out from the batter and allow some of the extra batter to drip off.
- Carefully place the cauliflower into the hot oil, a few at a time, making sure to not overcrowd the pot. The cauliflower should float to the top right away. With a metal spoon, flip the cauliflower once in a while for an even fry. As soon as they are golden brown, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place onto a paper towel lined tray to allow excess oil to be absorbed. Sprinkle with salt.
- In a bowl, place the fried cauliflower and toss with enough of the hot sauce to coat the cauliflower.
- Serve hot on their own or with celery sticks and creamy dressing such as a blue cheese or ranch!
*NOTE: the oil can be saved and used for deep frying again. After the oil cools completely, use a fine mesh strainer and strain the oil back into the bottle.