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Buffalo Cauliflower

MUSIC PAIRING: Los Colognes, Dos 

Football season is officially upon us and that means two things to me: buffalo wings and finding innovative ways to cope with the stress that Eli Manning adds to my life. In my opinion, beer was invented solely as a way to deal with said stress.

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Like any other season, event or happening in my life, food is at the center. I just like having excuses for why I’ll take down a pan of seven layer dip by myself. It’s football Sunday! Somehow, if you exclaim that, people completely understand and do not judge your gluttony.  

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Wings are the quintessential football food for me. I like them tossed in sauce, fried, tossed in sauce again and then fried extra well done on the second round. I want chunky blue cheese, super crisp celery and about four thousand beers to wash it all down with. I’ve been known to order multiple rounds of wings on a football Sunday, especially if I’m in the bar for the 1:00pm, 4:00pm and 8:00pm games. Yes, this has happened. Remember, this is a judgment-free zone.

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I want to be very clear on something. I am not…I repeat NOT…a fan of making foods that are supposed to be terrible for you healthier. If I want macaroni and cheese, I’m not about to use fake cheese and noodles made of tofu or some silliness. Food allergies aside, there’s a time and place for gooey, delicious, artery clogging foods in their original fattening state. I spend the majority of my week working hard in the gym and eating salad so that when the weekend arrives, I can enjoy myself the way macaroni and cheese intends. I actually made this recipe because Allison had recently eaten buffalo cauliflower at The Ribbon and said it was to die for. I figured why not give it a try myself and attempt to maaaaybe eat buffalo sauce covering something other than wings.  

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I thought this turned out great. For those of you who do want or need to make fatty recipes healthier, you’ll definitely appreciate this one. You still get the indulgence of the butter in the buffalo sauce but you can respect your heart by not forcing it to deal with pounds of fried chicken skin. You can leave all of that to me.

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Why Los Colognes? I was looking for some new music to check out and randomly clicked on these dudes. I dig this album! It’s light-hearted and catchy which is never unwelcome in my kitchen.   

Recipe by: Dale Talde 

Buffalo Cauliflower
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Ingredients
  1. 1 head cauliflower, leaves removed
  2. 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
  3. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  4. 1/2 cup hot sauce, such as Frank's Red Hot sauce
  5. 1/2 cup Sriracha Asian chile sauce
  6. 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  7. 1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese or more to taste
  8. 2 ribs celery, very thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°.
  2. Cut the stalk end off the cauliflower so that the head sits flat and place it on a large baking sheet. Rub 2 tablespoons of the canola oil all over the cauliflower, season to taste with salt and pepper and roast until the outside starts to brown, about 30 minutes.
  3. Transfer the cauliflower to a cutting board and let cool. Once the cauliflower is cool enough to handle, cut or break it into small florets.
  4. In a medium saucepan over moderate heat, bring the hot sauce and Sriracha to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer then slowly whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until fully incorporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  5. In a large, deep sauté pan over moderate heat, warm the remaining 1 teaspoon canola oil. Add the cauliflower florets, season to taste with salt and pepper and sauté until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add enough Buffalo sauce to coat the cauliflower and continue sautéing until both the cauliflower and the sauce are hot, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cauliflower to a platter and garnish with the crumbled blue cheese and celery.
Notes
  1. In the culinary world, you will often find chefs who advise you to always make a recipe the way it's originally written before you go tweaking it to your own preferences. Obviously, if there are ingredients involved that you really dislike, change it up out of the gate but if not, try to make a recipe the way the chef intended so that you can figure out what works and what doesn't. It's what makes us all better cooks because we're respecting the person who created the recipe and we're also learning how ingredients work.
  2. Aside from the addition of celery here, I wrote (and made!) the recipe exactly as written. I would definitely change a few things next time but I thought this was a fun, easy recipe and a healthier way to shove buffalo sauce in my face.
The Salty Peach http://the-salty-peach.com/

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