Buffalo cauliflower bites with blue cheese dip
I realized yesterday that two things I have celebrated every year for almost as long as I can remember fall on the same day this year.
The Super Bowl and Chinese New Year’s Eve, both fall on Sunday, February 7th. These very different events, call for very different foods. So, in preparation for these two festivities, my next few recipes will be a fun assortment of all-American appetizers and Chinese favorites. First up – Buffalo bites!
For some reason, when I think of Buffalo wings, I think of American football. While these massive guys are running around working hard on the field, we’re drinking beer and soda, and eating snacks and dips and anything else we can get our hands on. (Not liking sports is no reason to miss out on these spicy treats – so be sure to read on!)
Some fans are so keen on eating, that they can’t even wait until halftime, and start “tailgating” six hours before the game! Never have I experienced anything like the tailgate party I was part of at an Iowa State game in Ames, Iowa 4 years ago. It was 17°F (-8 °C) and windy, and the last thing you’d expect to find was thousands upon thousands of people standing outside around their cars in an enormous field, eating and drinking. Well actually, there weren’t just cars. There were tents, generators, huge TV screens and more. And our Iowan hosts were going to make sure we had a good time.
Now it’s my turn to make sure you enjoy yourselves!
Let’s face it, the important thing about Buffalo wings isn’t the wing, it’s the Buffalo. And no, just like Jessica Simpson I don’t eat buffalo – I was referring to the hot sauce! While no one can quite agree on exactly who invented this style of finger-licking appetizer, one thing is for sure: they were originally made and eaten in Buffalo, New York.
The hot sauce on these bites has just the right amount of kick – not too much, not too little. That said, if you are a spicy food fanatic or a fire-breathing dragon, feel free to turn up the heat a little! We’ll be using our sauce to cover bite-sized florets of cauliflower, coated in a light rice flour batter and baked to perfection.
Stopping there might be enough for some people, but if we can planticize a wing we can surely planticize a dip! Nothing goes better with this classic recipe than a blue cheese dip. Just like so many versions of the original, our dip is going to include sour cream, blue cheese, and mayonnaise – only our versions are 100% plant-based. What’s available to you all depends on where in the world you live, but I’ve got a pretty good hunch that if you do a bit of Googling, you’ll find what you need. And if not, you can always make your own, but I know you’re a hard worker, so we’ll take the easy way out – this time!
There’s no need to wait for halftime – these appetizers are good anytime. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get cookin’!
- 1 head (ca 3 lbs / 1.4 kg) - cauliflower
- ¾ cup (1.8 dl) - rice flour (red or brown is best)
- ¾ - 1 cup (1.8-2.4 dl) - water
- ¼ tsp (1 ml) - salt
- 1 clove - garlic Hot sauce
- ⅔ cup (1.6 dl) - hot sauce
- ½ cup (1.2 dl / 100g) - vegan margarine
- 1½ Tbsps. (22 ml) - apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp (5 ml) - paprika
- ¼ tsp (1 ml) - vegan Worcestershire sauce Dip
- ½ cup (1.2 dl) - vegan sour cream
- ½ cup (1.2 dl) - vegan blue cheese
- ¼ cup (.6 dl) - vegan mayonaise
- 1 small-ish clove - garlic
- 1Tbsp (15ml) - plant-based milk
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
InstructionsBites and sauce
- Preheat oven to 450F (235 C).
- In a small bowl, combine brown rice flour, water, garlic powder and salt. Mix thoroughly with a whisk, slowly adding more water if the batter is too thick.
- Dip cauliflower pieces in the batter until coated evenly, then place on a lightly greased, non-stick baking sheet.
- After about 10 minutes, use a long spoon to turn the cauliflower bits. Bake for 5-10 more minutes.
- While the cauliflower is in the oven, start to prepare the sauce.
- In a small sauce pan, melt the butter first, then add the hot sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and cayenne.
- Heat on medium, stirring constantly.
- When the sauce starts to bubble, turn off the burner, and set the pot and sauce aside.
- Remove cauliflower from oven. Using a kitchen brush into the sauce mix. At the end, when there is only a little sauce left, use a pastry brush to brush each piece.
- Return the sauce-coated cauliflower to the over for a final 10 minutes, or until cauliflower is crispy, and sauce looks absorbed.
- Remove from oven. Let cauliflower bites cool before serving.
- Add all the ingredients to a bowl.
- Mix, and flavor with salt, pepper and your prefered blend of spices.
- Store in refrigerator until serving.