Well not exactly, but I actually like these better if you can believe it!
As most of you know, I just spent the last few weeks in Buffalo, NY shooting a movie. Buffalo is the home of the Buffalo Chicken Wing- hence the name (duh)- and they are PROUD of their wings. Like…way too proud for their own good.
I mean, I like buffalo wings, like most people, but how hard are they to mess up? I got a lot of argumentative people flustered when talking about wings there LOL. Honestly, the wings I had there were good…but they tasted like any other fried buffalo wing I’d ever had before. Like I said- how difficult is it to make really? Not very, in my opinion…plus I’m sort of just an ass I and I like to ruffle feathers sometimes over dumb things like chicken wings. Keeping myself entertained one bar food at a time….
Anyway– I was inspired to make a healthier version of wings- a meatless version!
Other than Buffalo, NY…the inspiration came from a party snack I had at an event last year. Yep, I have been thinking about them for about a year (I love snacks).
This party had these buffalo cauliflower bites that were SO tasty, tender and baked- so they weren’t super heavy or greasy at all. Everyone I was with loved them. I, however, kept going back for more- I was double fisting plates of buffalo cauliflower like I hadn’t eaten in a week. Ben saw me and just laughed- he knows me and he knows I am such a sucker for a “bad food” made lighter. I was in heaven. Oh and the event was fun too…but the cauliflower was definitely the star.
SO, now, after a year, I finally came up with a way to make these lovely little bites at home.
I have made them a few times after doing some recipe research online and after a few trials…I perfected my recipe. They are savory, salty, spicy and creamy tasting-the roasted cauliflower becomes the most luscious texture!
I just ate these plain because they are so tasty on their own, but you can certainly serve them with blue cheese sauce or ranch dressing. Although, if you chose the latter (ranch) don’t tell anyone from Buffalo, NY what you’re doing…they will probably bite your head off because in their eyes, dipping in ranch is like the equivalent of dipping fries in mayo. Gross. Just a warning.
Obviously, I served these with Rosè in mason jars to class it up a bit. But a cold beer would go well too…or whatever you prefer to be honest!
Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
1 head of cauliflower florets, broken into bite sized pieces (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup flour. I used white flour, but you can use oat flour to make them gluten free
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1 cup Frank’s Red Hot
1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter) or vegan butter or regular butter, melted
Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Tin foil tends to get too sticky with the batter, so parchment paper really works much better for this recipe. Spray the parchment with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the almond milk, flour, water and spices (everything but the Frank’s and the ghee or butter). Whisk it well so there are no lumps left and it has a light batter consistency- think pancake batter or maybe a little looser. Next, you’ll coat the cauliflower in the batter, working in 3 batches. Take about 1/3 of the cauliflower and put it in the batter bowl and mix to coat, using a slotted spoon. With that same slotted spoon, scoop out the cauliflower and make sure any excess batter drips off back into the bowl before transferring each spoonful to the lined baking sheet. Continue this until that first batch is coated and on the pan, then continue this process for the second and third batches. The cauliflower doesn’t need to be doused in the batter- just coated so don’t obsess over getting it all perfect.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, flip them around on the pan and then bake for another 10 minutes (a total of 20 mins). While they are baking, prepare your buffalo sauce. I take the batter bowl, rinse it out, dry it and use it for the buffalo sauce because I like to use as few things as possible when cooking. Combine the melted ghee and the Frank’s in the bowl and stir to mix well. Once the cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven, transfer them to the buffalo sauce bowl and GENTLY toss the hot bites in the sauce until well coated. Pour the coated bites back onto the baking sheet and bake for another 20 minutes (no flipping required this time). They should be nice and roast-y when done!
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Rosè in Mason Jars, optional.