Buffalo Flowers

Well, cauliflowers anyhow. These actually taste alright. But don’t open your food truck based on that till you try one or two. They still taste like cauliflower, just not as much like them, well, when dressed well with a Buffalo wing sauce they don’t. Even the plain version isn’t bad.

This, like all of my recipes, can actually be made at home. I sifted through & tried a bunch of recipes to get to this one. I made some modifications & combined a few different recipes. All credit to those who have come up with their own version, as well as those professionals too. This is my version.

1 medium large head of cauliflower
2X homemade buffalo wing sauce

1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
pepper to taste
tablespoon olive oil
1 head of cauliflower
⅔ cup Panko bread crumbs

Make up a double batch of buffalo wings sauce. Set aside to marry, & solidify a little. The hot “wings” will soften it up plenty fast.

Mix your dry ingredients (NOT Panko) in a medium to large bowl. Add milk & olive oil. Whisk or beat with a fork. Let it sit & get on the cauli. Don’t underestimate the power of sitting blended or mixed items. Even professionally, we set things aside to get better.

Most heads of cauliflower are going to yield “one batch”. That comes out to around 18-25 portions. If you aren’t familiar with cutting or portioning cauliflower, it’s not as easy as it looks, but it isn’t all that tough. Just cut a little head from the whole thing. See the pictures.

Easy enough is to cut off the big stem, remove any green, & trim the stem up close to the head. Either break off a piece or use your paring knife to cut a “flower” off. Cut that in half with your knife. This is going to be your wing piece.

Do that till you have only another piece of stem base. A medium large head should yield about 18-25 pieces. You will have some big pieces, some medium pieces, but no real small ones.

You can do it by hand, but most of the time you’re going to have little pieces break off on you. You will have about a portion of tiny pieces that you can later use for something, like another meal.

I found I had less breakage when I used a spoon & turn method of coating the cauliflower. That is, drop a flower in, & using a spoon, turn the piece till it’s coated.
I have seen it suggested to shake it in a bag, but believe you’ll break more than you really want. It’s also very messy after coating, where you can use your raw tongs to pick these up when ready, when you do it from the bowl

Now, here’s a trick. Get a medium colander, place it over a bowl or plate & put the coated florets (flowers) in. Let them drip a bit. Give them about ten minutes. I set up the oven to 425°F & placed the rack in the middle, got a drink, put the panko into a bowl, took some pictures & so on.

Take your wings out & place them in the panko bowl to coat. I resisted the urge to flip coat them, & used a spoon. It worked out great (and less messy). That is just spooned panko bread crumbs over the cauliflower “wings”.

Coat each portion with panko crumbs & place them on your sheet pan.
I used a portion of aluminum foil that I sprayed with oil, but covering it with parchment paper will work fine too. I wanted to see how well it would work with foil. It does great.

Leave a decent gap between wings & slide it in the oven for 15 minutes.

Remove wings & coat with wing sauce. Place back on the sheet pan & cook for another 10 minutes.

You don’t need to broil them, as 425°F will give them a decent crust & singe. I also want to point out that I made some that were “plain” & cooked them right with the seasoned ones & they came out fine. The plain ones certainly taste more like cauliflower, but they’re still “fun” to eat.

Plate & serve.

Great alone, or with ranch or more wing sauce.

Like many breaded items, they don’t hold all that well over night. The left overs aren’t bad, just not fresh either. I pitched mine. They reheat easily though.

*If you can’t find gluten free panko & you need that, I hear that using rice Chex cereal in a blender does a great job.
Additionally: Sub wheat flour & cow’s milk as needed.
Garlic & black pepper give it that breaded batter taste. Think fish fry, chicken wings or fried chicken.

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