Let’s start by clearing up a truism: cauliflowers don’t have wings. Hot dogs don’t have a dog among their ingredients either, crab sticks have absolutely nothing of this animal and the closest that potatoes have been to ham is sharing the roof of the supermarket. As in all the previous cases, we refer to this recipe as “wings” basically because we are going to give them the same treatment that is given to chicken wings (only that in this case the license will surely annoy many more people, because for some strange reason when it comes to meatless versions it always works like this). And now we are going to cook.
There is not really a single recipe to prepare this appetizer; It is more about applying the same system that you use to dress some wings, changing one food for another. In this case we will add a little oil to bind the solids -spices or herbs- and help the vegetables to brown when we roast them in the oven, but so far the differences. You can use from curry to adobo for Moorish skewers, passing through a marinade based on sriracha, chimichurri or the classic American Buffalo sauce, which can be prepared at home by mixing any spicy sauce based on vinegar with a little melted butter -or oil. -, Perrins sauce, celery salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder and brown sugar.
This time, I used a generous scoop of the delicious spice mix Sticky fingers of Espicy, which could be replaced by a teaspoon of spicy smoked paprika, another of dehydrated onion powder, another of garlic powder, half pepper, half sugar and salt to taste -although his recipe calls for more-, three of oil and two vinegar. I have also prepared it with hot paprika, oil, vinegar and salt, or with sriracha, honey, oil, lime and diluted soy sauce or miso. And with harissa, lemon, salt, sugar and tahini: in short, any combination works where something spicy and / or tasty, something acidic, a point of salt, if you like, another sweet and something fatty (the last two, in addition , will help us to stick the final toppings).
Letting it marinate for at least a couple of hours – better a little longer – will help the flavor to penetrate the vegetables and become more intense. Cauliflower cooking is also up to the taste of whoever is going to eat it: there are those who prepare it fried or in batter -with egg and breadcrumbs or with a dough of flour mixed with still or sparkling water, beer, milk or egg, that you can fry or also bake- and those of us who prefer to make it in the oven without adding any dough (the grill is also a great option, if you have it on hand). If you want them to be more forceful, you can coat them and then spread them with the Buffalo-style sauce: if you choose this option, serve them quickly so that they are not mushy. In addition to eating them as is, you can use them in tacos or burritos, as well as as a garnish or in a combined dish.
If changing the wings for cauliflower seems too radical, you may want to try a combination of both: I assure you that the flavor and texture of both combine perfectly; To no one’s surprise, who can be bothered with something fresh and crunchy to balance the greasy feel of the wings? To top it off, just before serving I recommend adding some crunchy dressing and something fresh; one of those details that make the difference.
The one to find the wings to the cauliflower.
For 4 people
As an aperitif or side
- 1 cauliflower of about 800 g
- 150 ml of marinade to taste (combining spices, fat, salt, acidity and, if you like, a sweet spot)
- Sesame or poppy seeds, salt flakes, dried onion (or mix)
- Parsley, coriander, chives, scallions or its free version: the stem of the chive
- Cut the cauliflower into florets and the stem into two-centimeter pieces. Spread them with half the dressing, with your hands or a kitchen brush. Let it rest in the fridge for at least a couple of hours (it may be more).
- Heat the oven to 200 ° C and spread the cauliflower on a tray. After 10 minutes, remove from the oven, stir and paint with the rest of the dressing.
- After 20 minutes, or when they are browned on the outside but still crisp on the inside, remove to a plate, top with crisp, fresh garnishes to taste, and serve.
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