I have two recipes for you today. Do you want a scrumptious sandwich or appetizer? Or both? I don’t blame you if it’s hard to decide so I suggest both.
I’m getting ahead of myself because I’m super excited about this recipe. I should tell you what’s going on here. From the pictures, this may look like a fish or chicken sandwich, but it’s actually vegetarian. It’s good old cauliflower.
If you want sandwiches, then you slice a head of cauliflower into thick slices. The outer slices will fall apart so that’s a little annoying and also kind of unavoidable, but they won’t go to waste. If you want all bite sized pieces for an appetizer or buffalo cauliflower sliders (i.e. small sandwiches) then adjust size of your slices. You can really turn this recipe into a variety of dishes.
You start by dipping the cauliflower in a milk mixture loaded with spices, bake them, dip them in a hot sauce mixture, then bake them again, and voila, you’ve got buffalo cauliflower. I’ll be honest, it’s a lot of steps and while I was making it I thought I’d never make it again because it was a lot of work. My husband and I loved this so much that he’s asked that I make this as an appetizer when we entertain this holiday season. Well, I guess I will be making this again, but it’s all good. I’m excited to get back to hosting this year and I’ll never turn down tasty food options, especially if I know it will be a crowd pleaser.
Yes, this really does taste like buffalo “chicken” but minus the chicken flavor, so maybe just buffalo spicy maybe? Some may say that’s a win, some may not. This recipe can even be made dairy free (see the original source of the recipe). To each their own. I’m simply here to share delicious food and give you options.
Let’s not forget about this homemade ranch dressing. Sure you can skip it and buy the bottled stuff but I promise this tastes really good with all the fresh herbs. If you think this looks messy then you’d be right. My husband said it reminded him of Sloppy Joe in texture so it’s probably a good idea to have plenty of napkins around.
Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe
(Makes about 2 large sandwiches with extra bite size pieces)
Ingredients for the Buffalo Cauliflower:
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1/2 cup hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot Original.)
Ingredients for the Ranch Dressing:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Directions for the Buffalo Cauliflower:
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and set it aside.
- Cut the leaves off of the cauliflower. Cut the bottom of the stem off but leave most of it in tact.
- If you want to make sandwiches, then slice the cauliflower into about 1/2 inch slices. For the rest of the cauliflower, cut it into big chunks. If you want bite size pieces, then cut the entire cauliflower into big chunks. Set the cut cauliflower aside.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together the milk, water, flour, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Dunk each piece of cauliflower in the mixture and then move them to the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake them in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- While they are baking, in a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter and hot sauce.
- When the cauliflower is done baking, brush the hot sauce mixture all over each cauliflower piece and then place it back in the oven for another 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly browned.
- If you are serving this as sandwiches, then pile the cauliflower on a roll with lettuce, tomato, homemade ranch dressing (see below), and whatever else you’d like.
- If you are serving this as an appetizer, you’re done! Pour some homemade ranch dressing (see below) in a bowl and put out some little forks or toothpicks to pick up the pieces without wearing the sauce.
Directions for the Ranch Dressing:
- In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, finely chopped fresh dill, parsley, and chives. Add the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk everything together until it looks like salad dressing.
Adapted from: Hot For Food