Black Pepper Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Black Pepper Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Excerpted from Half Baked Harvest Super Simple

I’ve always loved to experiment with cauliflower. Way back in the early days when I first started cooking, and even before I launched Half Baked Harvest, I would make buffalo cauliflower bites for family dinners. The rounded florets reminded me of a breaded chicken nugget, which is why I first thought to coat them in a spicy sauce. Nowadays, I make these black pepper buffalo cauliflower bites, which have a touch more kick to them. Before roasting, I toss the florets with a homemade buffalo sauce spiced with black pepper and smoky paprika, then I roll them in panko bread crumbs, Parmesan, and cheddar. These are definitely not your usual buffalo wing gameday fare, but in my opinion, they’re so much better, especially with my quickfix homemade ranch dip.

Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients 

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 heads cauliflower, broken into florets (about 6 cups)
  • 1¼ cups panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1⁄3 cup grated cheddar cheese

Quick-Fix Ranch

  • ½ cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup buttermilk, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make the cauliflower. In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, hot sauce, paprika, pepper, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt.
  3. In a large bowl, place the cauliflower and add half of the sauce, reserving the remaining sauce for another use. Toss to coat. In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan.
  4. Dredge the cauliflower in the bread crumbs, pressing to adhere. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
  5. Roast until tender and golden, about 20 minutes. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and sprinkle the cheddar over the top. Return the baking sheet to the oven and continue roasting until the cauliflower is golden and the cheese begins to crisp, 10 to 15 minutes more.
  6. Meanwhile, make the ranch. In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, buttermilk, chives, and dill and season with salt. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of buttermilk to thin as needed. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with chives, if desired.
  7. Serve the warm cauliflower bites with the ranch alongside for dipping.

Tips

  • If you love blue cheese as much as I do, I’d highly recommend crumbling a few tablespoons of a good, stinky blue into the ranch. It’s delicious.

Excerpted from Half Baked Harvest Super Simple by Tieghan Gerard
Copyright © 2019 by Tieghan Gerard.
Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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