Updated: Jan 11
I'm done with winter. Here in New Orleans, we're in day 3 of an ice-pocolyps. It's gotten down to a whopping 19 degrees (I know, I know), ice is all over the streets, and the kids are home from school because so many pipes are frozen over. I'm low on groceries, morale, and give-a-crap-attude. All the junk food is gone, but my two kids neeeeeed a snack. We ended up cleaning out the pantry and came up with something that both my carnivore 8 year old and the vegetarian 17 year old could enjoy: battered, crunchy, spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites. Set yourself up for success with these; it seems like a lot of steps, but having an assembly line set up before you start chopping and coating makes these addictive little bites that much easier to get in your belly. Don't stress too much about running to the store for corn flakes either. Whatever you've got will work. Besides, wouldn't you rather stay home and cook with a glass- or two- of wine instead of grocery shopping? Me too, girl. Me too.
Crunchy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
6 cups cauliflower florets, or 1 small cauliflower cut into florets
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
2 t onion powder
2 t garlic powder
⅛ t cayenne pepper
2 T milk
1 T honey or brown sugar
3 cups bread crumbs, corn flakes, cornmeal, and/or crackers crushed to a course crumble
Salt and black pepper
1 stick butter, melted, mixed with ½ cup Crystal Hot Sauce
*If using a store-bought sauce, be sure to thin the sauce with water to ensure a crunchy crust.
Preheat oven to 425°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a gallon zip-top bag, combine flour, cornstarch, onion and garlic powder, cayenne, a few grinds of black pepper, and 2 teaspoons salt.
In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and honey together until smooth.
Put breading (bread crumbs, ect.) into another gallon zip-top bag.
Place cauliflower into a strainer and rinse with cold water. Allow to remain wet so flour will cling to florets.
Drop cauliflower into the bag of flour. Leaving a lot of air in the bag, seal the bag and shake to coat the cauliflower.
Working in batches, roll each floret in the egg mixture, then transfer to bread crumb bag. When half the cauliflower is in the bread crumb bag, seal, shake, then transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave 1 inch between florets on all sides. Repeat with remaining florets.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Drizzle Crystal sauce mixture over each floret, toss, then bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and crunchy.
Serve hot or room temperature, with ranch or blue cheese dressing.