Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Meanwhile whisk the all-purpose flour, egg, and beer together, until completely mixed.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. In a bowl, place the fried cauliflower and toss with enough of the hot sauce to coat the cauliflower.
  7. 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.

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