It’s Groundhog Day, and while at first glance this may seem like a recipe you’ve seen all over Pinterest, it’s a new day and a new way! The Super Bowl was the inspiration for this Buffalo Cauliflower Sammie, which is the love child of buffalo cauliflower wings and cauliflower steaks. Topped with a dairy-free blue cheese spread and thinly sliced celery, you’ll want this one for your next gameday!
Trending: Buffalo Cauliflower Wings and Cauliflower Steaks
You’ve seen it before, cauliflower florets dunked in a light batter and baked before being tossed in buffalo sauce. I’ve even tried them before, sadly, with miserable results. The batter never seemed to get as crispy as I wanted it, and left me with a gummy mess. They lacked flavor and truly did not remind me of the wing nights of years past. I moved on, deciding to retire the attempt to the garbage.
Just recently I discovered cauliflower steaks and loved the whole experience. I especially enjoyed the Roasted Cauliflower dish at Schilling in NYC back in March of 2015. Now, roasting cauliflower florets and cauliflower halves is nothing new to me, but, I had yet to make it into a steak.
A Cut Above the Florets
I’ll be honest, cutting the cauliflower into steaks without it falling apart was not easy for me at first, but then I discovered a trick. Peel away the larger leaves, leaving the smaller leaves on the remaining stalk. Trim off one rounded side of the cauliflower, then, with the stalk side up, position your knife on the stalk to create about a 1/2-inch steak and cut through. It’s important to use the stalk and keep it intact as best as possible to keep the steak from falling apart! Once the steaks are cut, use a paring knife to cut away the smaller leaves. You can get 2-3 steaks from each cauliflower, depending on its size, but don’t throw away those rounded ends! There are plenty of uses for them from Alfredo sauce to pizza crust!
When I make cauliflower steaks, I treat them just as I would a steak. Marinating them in balsamic vinaigrette and roasting in the oven is my favorite way to go… But, what if I treated it like chicken. Marinate it in a tangy-milky marinade, dredge, and fry. The wheels start turning until… “Bingo!”, a Buffalo Cauliflower Sammie! But… flashback to the failed buffalo cauliflower wings… No. This time would be different. This time, fry the cauliflower, dunk it in a standard wing sauce and throw it on a bun! But don’t let the appearance fool you, this sandwich is just as messy as it’s finger food cousin!
Start prepping your sandwiches at least a day in advanced.The acid and salt in the marinade will help to tenderize the cauliflower prior to cooking. You can also make your wing sauce and blue cheese spread in advanced, the flavors will develop with time. If you’re not a blue cheese fan, you could try replacing the dressing in the spread with ranch. When you’re ready to make your sammies, pull the cauliflower steaks from the fridge and set up the dredging station. I kept it gluten free by using rice flour, a rice flour tempura batter, and gluten free panko. Then into the fryer it goes until it is golden brown and tender. Drain and assemble! I added sliced celery and iceberg lettuce for the classic combo and bun protection! Not a fan of too much heat? You could always opt for a BBQ sauce version.