It’s Game Time
It’s that time of year again, where so many Americans gather around the TV screen to watch the two best teams in the NFL compete for the top spot. Super Bowl Champion. I actually do love to watch football and have spent many seasons completely engrossed in the sport. Lately, I’ve been a very passive fan. Watching games only when they happen to be on around me or when I’m home visiting my family in New Orleans and an extra ticket to see the Saints lands in my lap. If you don’t follow football, the Saints are not in the Super Bowl. So for me, this Sunday is all about the food. Because lord knows I’m not rooting for the Patriots or the Eagles.
All About the Food
I thought it would be fun this year to put a plant based spin on some of the foods that I absolutely LOVE to eat while I watch football. I’m a big fan of the buffalo sauce and blue cheese combo. Something about the combination of spicy, creamy, tangy, and sweet just tickles my fancy. Cauliflower is definitely having it’s day in the culinary world what with cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower steaks, and more, so it just seemed to make sense to do this appetizer. I in no way invented this. There are a million recipes online and you can see it on menus in a lot of restaurants but this is my twist on this recipe that I got from Real Housemoms. I added paprika. That’s the only difference.
These go best with lots and lots of carrot and celery sticks to dip into the blue cheese sauce. Enjoy the day, whoever you root for. Who Dat!
Adapted from Real Housemoms
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 4 oz of blue cheese (optional – vegan blue cheese or ranch dressing instead)
- 5 oz creme fraiche (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 2/3 cup of Frank’s Red Hot
- 2 Tablespoons of butter (Earthbalance for vegans)
- 1 bunch of celery
- 1 bunch of carrots
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
- Break florets off of cauliflower head and reserve in a medium sized bowl. Make sure they are all more or less the same size so they cook evenly.
- In a large bowl mix the flour, salt, paprika, garlic powder and black pepper. Then add the water and combine with a spoon until a thick batter forms.
- Toss the cauliflower florets in the batter until they are well coated all over. Try to get every surface of the floret covered so that the sauce has a place to adhere.
- Pour the battered florets onto a prepared baking sheet (use a silpat, parchment paper, or use a non stick baking sheet). Put them in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the batter is nice and dry and crusty.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, melt the butter or Earth Balance in a medium sized bowl and then whisk in the hot sauce until combined.
- When the cauliflower are ready, pull them out of the oven and then toss them in a bowl with the hot sauce mixture. Make sure the florets are nice and coated. Pour them back onto the baking sheet and pop them back in the oven for another 30-35 minutes.
- While they are baking, trim and cut the celery into 3-4 inch sticks. Trim and peel the carrots and do the same.
- In a medium bowl mix the blue cheese and creme fraiche. Taste and add a pinch of salt. Taste again and add more salt if needed. For vegans, just use your favorite blue cheese or ranch dressing.
- Plate the carrot and celery sticks on a plate with the blue cheese sauce or dressing in a bowl and place the roasted buffalo cauliflower around it.