February is that month where I look our the window, and I say to myself “Really? Still? Christmas is long gone, we don’t need this freezing weather anymore.” As much as I try, February just doesn’t listen to me. So I have declared February- The Month Of Indulge. I mean come on, it has an entire day dedicated to chocolate! Or love, or whatever. (but clearly the chocolate). So the theme of this months recipes, indulge!!! What is your favourite indulgence? Let me know in the comments below, and I just may veganize your favourite! In the meantime, get started with some Cauliflower Hot Things!
Oh my, oh my! Did you see that picture up there? Pretty drool worthy.
I am not the brilliant inventor of the idea of battering cauliflower and tossing it with hot sauce to make a veg “hot wing”. These recipes have been flying around the internet, but I just couldn’t resist. Mainly because I wanted to eat them. I mean, hello, vegan bar food! Yes please!
After reading several recipes I saw that most of them either had one of two things that I wasn’t that into. One, the batters were really thick and doughy, which is just not my thing. Or two, was the opposite, no batter. This ain’t no place for seasoned cauliflower! That’s a side dish my friends. I wanted my cauliflower to be light and crisp, and (here’s the real twist) oil free! Did I manage to make both of those magical combinations combine? Applause please. Yes I did. Bow to my right, annnnd bow to my left…
Ok, ok, I will stop patting my self on the back…but the house is empty right now, so someone had to! How did you manage to make this wonderful creation, you say? (I am sure someone said that). I made my batter recipe based on a tempura batter. (Hence the chopstick seen in photo 4). No frying needed, I just tossed them in a hot oven and I was delighted by just how crispy they got!
Cauliflower Hot Things:
1 Head of Cauliflower
3/4 Whole Wheat Flour (or Gluten Free all purpose flour)
1/4 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Cornmeal
1 Cup – 1 1/2 Cups Ice Water (Sparkling water is even better)
1/4 Cup Hot Sauce of Choice (I used Franks Red Hot)
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup or Agave
UPDATE: The hot sauce, and maple syrup combo I made adds a nice thin coat of spicy sweetness. I heard from some of you that you would like more of a thick BBQ wing sauce, so if this is your thing, just use your favourite BBQ Sauce instead. For a homemade BBQ Sauce try the one in my Pulled Jackfruit Recipe.
Lightly grease a baking tray, or for completely oil free use one of those non-stick baking mat thingies. (I need one of those).
Chop up the cauliflower into “Thing” sized pieces.
Using a chopstick or the handle of a spoon, whisk the whole wheat flour with the cornmeal. Then add in your water. It’s best to do this 1/2 a cup at a time, so you can keep an eye on the consistency. It may seem annoying to use a chopstick, but this is to help you not over mix the batter. Lumps are totally cool! You want the batter to be just thick enough so you can dip in the cauliflower and have the batter provide a nice coating. Once you reach this consistency, I find it easiest to toss a handful of cauliflower in the bowl, toss around to coat, and then use tongs to remove and shake off excess.
Fill a baking tray with the coated cauliflower. Make sure to give them enough space. Bake for 20 minutes at 450F until they are golden. When they are done, pull them out and let them rest for 5 minutes. (I find they are easier to remove, and crisp up even more if you let them rest).
Make your “thing sauce” by combining the hot sauce and maple syrup or agave in a bowl. Toss the baked cauliflower in a large bowl, drizzle with hot sauce, and then toss to coat. Serve immediately.