Vegan Super Bowl Hack: Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
Vegetarians and vegans may not enjoy the meat fest that is Super Bowl Sunday, but there's no reason they can't salivate over the goodness that is buffalo sauce. Paired with a creamy dipping sauce like blue cheese or ranch, practically anything marinated in buffalo sauce will taste divine, but cauliflowers are an especially delicious candidate. Below, author and food blogger Claire Thomas of The Kitchy Kitchen is sharing her finger-licking good recipe for cauliflower wings. It's a light, healthy Super Bowl snack that everyone will enjoy.
Ingredients for cauliflower:
1/2 cup hot pepper sauce (such as Frank’s RedHot)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Grapeseed oil for frying (about 10 cups)
3/4 cup arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
4 celery stalks, cut into thin sticks
Directions for cauliflower
Whisk together hot sauce, cayenne, 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until combined. Warm up in a small pan before coating cauliflower.
Pour oil into a large heavy pot to a depth of 1” and fit with a deep-fry thermometer. Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 375° F.
Meanwhile, place the starch in a large bowl. Season cauliflower with salt and pepper. Working in three batches, dredge cauliflower in starch, shaking off excess, then carefully lower the florets into the oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until cauliflower is cooked through and crust is golden brown and very crisp—five to seven minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, set inside a rimmed baking sheet, and transfer to oven to keep warm while you fry remaining cauliflower.
Transfer cauliflower to a large bowl, add warmed sauce, and toss to coat. Serve immediately with celery sticks and ranch dressing for dipping.
Do ahead: Sauce can be made one week ahead. Let cool completely; cover and chill. Rewarm before using.
Ingredients for ranch dressing:
NOTE: Makes 1 cup
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/2 cup almond milk
3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
Fresh vegetables to serve
Directions for ranch dressing:
Whisk all ingredients together to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you store it in an airtight container, it’ll last in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Quickly blanch fresh vegetables to serve with the dressing. Blanching is one of those things that sounds complicated, but is actually pretty simple and makes a BIG difference. I guess the question is “why blanch?” By boiling and then shocking the vegetables in an ice bath, you make them a little more tender and sweeter, and you also give them a super-vibrant color. All important things if you’re putting together a platter for a party.
Bring water to a boil and toss in the vegetables and boil for about 30 to 60 seconds. Strain them, and then place them in the ice bath. If you want your vegetables to have extra snap, serve them in ice cubes with the ranch dressing.
Visit The Kitchy Kitchen for more recipes like this one.
What vegetarian or vegan Super Bowl snacks do you recommend? Share below.