Buffalo cauliflower

These tasty little snacks make the perfect vegetarian addition to your next gathering. Rest assured no buffalo were harmed in the making of this dish. James Wirth shares his recipe from the cookbook This Could Get Messy.

  • 20 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 5
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Buffalo cauliflower
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 250 gram (1 2/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 3 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 120 gram (2 cups) panko (japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 375 millilitre (1 1/2 cups) spicy cayenne pepper sauce, such as frank’s redhot sauce or tabasco sauce
  • 150 gram cold butter, diced
  • 250 gram (1 cup) sour cream
  • 100 gram gorgonzola cheese, or other blue cheese
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 3–4 celery stalks, peeled and cut into long batons


Buffalo cauliflower
  • 1
    In a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water, cook the cauliflower florets for 5–6 minutes, or until just tender. Drain in a colander, refresh under cold running water, then set aside to cool.
  • 2
    Line up three mixing bowls. Place the flour in the first bowl, the beaten eggs in the second bowl, and the breadcrumbs in the third.
  • 3
    Working in small batches, toss the cauliflower florets in the flour, then the egg, then the crumbs, placing them all on a tray or large plate. When all the florets have been given this treatment, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 20–30 minutes, to help the crumb coating adhere to the cauliflower.
  • 4
    In a saucepan over medium–low heat, warm the hot sauce. When it is nearly simmering, whisk in the cold cubes of butter until incorporated. Set aside.
  • 5
    In a blender, blitz together the sour cream and blue cheese, then decant into a serving bowl.
  • 6
    When ready to serve, fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan one-third full of vegetable oil. Heat over medium heat until it reaches 180ºC when tested with a cooking thermometer, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in 15 seconds.
  • 7
    Fry the crumbed cauliflower florets in small batches for 3–4 minutes each time, or until golden brown and crisp, taking care that they don’t clump together. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
  • 8
    Once all the florets have been deep-fried, toss them in the buttery hot sauce and serve immediately, with the celery sticks and blue cheese sour cream sauce.

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