Vegan Hot Buffalo Sauce + Sourdough Cauliflower 'Wings'
I used to love Buffalo sauce. I never really knew what was in it, but I knew I liked it, and therefore should attempt a vegan version. Disclaimer: This is NOT one of my healthiest recipes. I cut back on the vegan butter a lot compared to the traditional recipes that I found and just substituted water. However the flavor is the classic vinegary, peppery kick! I tossed this on some sourdough Cauliflower 'wings'--recipe also included in this post!
When I was growing up, my mother gave me the endearing nickname 'asbestos mouth' because I didn't have the self-control to wait for food to cool down, and also ate spicy food in large quantities. This came in handy in college, when we would have wing night. I would always get there late from class, and my friends would 'save' me wings--but always the atomic hot ones. Luckily, my asbestos mouth could eat them without too much trouble. So maybe it's nostalgia, but I have a soft spot for Buffalo wings. I have found that if you're subbing a vegetable for wings, cauliflower is the way to go. It's cruciferous enough that it maintains a firm texture even after being cooked in the sourdough batter, and it has awesome nooks and crannies for the buffalo sauce to hide in. Check out both recipes below!
In spite of subbing some vegan butter for water, this is certainly not a 'make everyday' sauce. Vegan butter is not an ingredient I use often at all, but it is handy to keep around. The ingredients are easy enough to come by, and while it is very watery when hot, it gets far more solid as it cools down. As far as the wings go, while having a Sourdough starter is helpful, you could easily make a quick batter by combining 1/4 cup GF flour with a 1/2 cup water instead of the sourdough & water listed below.
What You Need:
For the Buffalo Sauce:
1/8 cup habanero sauce/hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegan butter (I use Earth Balance soy free sticks)
1 1/2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon honey/agave
Dash of cayenne
Salt, to taste
For the Cauliflower wings:
1/2 head of Cauliflower, cut into 'trees' (IE--cut the pieces large and keep some of the stalk!)
1/2 cup of sourdough mix (Mine is the GF Cultures for Health one!)
1/8 cup of water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the Buffalo Sauce:
Super easy: just combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until combined! Taste test before you add the cayenne as it may be hot enough for you already. And add as much salt as feels right--I added probably a 1/2 teaspoon.
The Cauliflower wings are a bit more prep:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Combine all of your ingredients except the cauliflower in a large bowl and mix well
Add the cauliflower to the sourdough mixture and mix with a spatula so all the pieces get coated
Transfer the coated cauliflower to a baking pan
Bake for about 25 minutes, turning everything over at least once so all sides get crispy
When the Cauliflower is done, pull it from the oven and let it sit for about five minutes
After five minutes add the Cauliflower to another large bowl, and pour half of your Buffalo sauce in a little bit at a time as you mix with a spatula to ensure all the Cauliflower pieces get covered (Alternately you could use the sauce as a dip.)
I garnished with cilantro and served this as a side with some veggie burgers. It would also be great as a party snack!