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Recipe courtesy of Jay Flatley

Buffalo Cauliflower

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 45 min (includes soaking time)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 2 to 3 servings
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Ingredients

Fried Cauliflower:

Kosher salt

1 head cauliflower (about 1 pound), cut into bite-size florets

3 to 4 cups buttermilk, for soaking

Canola oil, for frying

4 cups fine cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour 

2 tablespoons cornstarch 

2 tablespoons spicy paprika 

1 tablespoon granulated garlic 

1 tablespoon granulated onion 

1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika 

1 1/2 cups Louisiana-style hot sauce

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Blue Cheese Fondue:

2 cups crumbled blue cheese (about 8 ounces)

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise 

1 cup sour cream 

1/4 cup heavy cream 

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 

2 tablespoons minced garlic 

2 tablespoons spicy paprika 

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Special equipment:
a deep-frying thermometer
  1. For the fried cauliflower: Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and salt generously. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Cook the cauliflower in the boiling water until al dente (check the texture), about 5 minutes once the water returns to a boil. Remove the cauliflower from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water bath to stop the cooking. Once the cauliflower has cooled, drain thoroughly. Once dry, transfer the cauliflower to a container and pour the buttermilk over the top. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
  2. For the blue cheese fondue: Combine the blue cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, heavy cream, parsley, garlic, paprika and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Whisk to combine and season to taste.
  3. To fry the cauliflower: Pour enough oil into a deep, heavy pot to come 6 inches up the sides. Heat the oil until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, combine the cornmeal, flour, cornstarch, spicy paprika, granulated garlic and onion, smoked paprika and 2 teaspoons salt in a shallow bowl.
  4. In batches, remove the cauliflower from the buttermilk, dredge in the cornmeal mixture and fry until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the fried cauliflower from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  5. Combine the hot sauce and melted butter in a large bowl. Toss the fried cauliflower in the Buffalo sauce to coat. Serve with the blue cheese fondue.
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