Like George from Seinfeld “likes his chicken spicy” I like my cauliflower spicy! This side dish and/or appetizer is a great vegetarian alternative to traditional chicken wings. I love the taste of buffalo sauce, but I don’t like all the extra calories that come along with it deep frying them, and then coating them in butter and hot sauce! So these baked buffalo cauliflower bites are a great way to crush a junk food craving without all the guilt. These could be served alone with some celery sticks and creamy dipping sauces, but I like to make them as a side dish. Here I prepared them with some brown rice, and baked salmon; it’s a very quick meal, but it definitely satisfies.
I made minor some adjustments to the recipe, but only because these were the things I had on hand. I used whole wheat flour, but you could use what ever kind of flour you want, you could even use rice flour if you wanted to make them gluten free I also used olive oil instead of butter, because if you can believe it I was out of butter and/or margarine and I was NOT going back outside again. It was just as well because they turned out just fine!
It is best to make this recipe with fresh cauliflower rather than frozen in order to get the desired texture; trust me I tried it the other way, and they were a hot mess (literally). If you only have frozen veggies on hand, simply rinse them in a colander under cold water for a few minutes like you would with shrimp to thaw them out. Once they are thawed out, shake off the excess water, and then pat them dry with some paper towel. Before you coat the cauliflower in the flour mixture you want as much of the liquid absorbed as possible because you are adding water and flour remember to create a breading like texture around them. If the veggies are still frozen it will just turn everything into one big giant cauliflower block. Trust me! It happened.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup all purpose flour (or whole wheat)
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 22 oz (6 1/2 cups) cauliflower florets
- 3/4 cup Franks Hot Sauce
- 1 tbsp melted unsalted butter (or olive oil)
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly spray a large non-stick baking sheet with oil. Combine the water, flour, and garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well combined. Coat the cauliflower pieces with the flour mixture and place on the baking sheet; bake for 20 minutes.
While the cauliflower is baking, combine the hot sauce and butter (or olive oil) in a small bowl. Pour the hot sauce mixture over the baked cauliflower and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes.
Make sure to serve these with something neutral, as these puppies are spicy!