A healthier game or party day appetizer that doesn’t wimp out on flavor, Sweet & Spicy Cauliflower Bites are you-can’t-stop-at-one delish. Enjoy them two ways: sriracha cauliflower bites or BBQ gochujang cauliflower bites, one hot, one mild[er] — both with that irresistible sweet-and-spicy combo.
Preheat oven to 425°F, with the the racks arranged on the lower and upper thirds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat (you can use foil, but do coat it with non-stick spray)
Flour: Place the 1 cup of flour into a large bowl.
Batter: In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, flour, and seasonings until smooth.
Breadcrumbs: In a third bowl, toss together the panko breadcrumbs and seasonings.
prepare the cauliflower
Add cauliflower florets in batches to the bowl with the flour and toss gently until lightly coated.
Move the florets to the batter bowl, and gently stir to coat (see the Notes section for Tips on minimizing the hands-on mess!)
Shake of the excess batter from the florets, and add the florets to the breadcrumbs, tossing to coat.
Transfer the coated florets to the sheet pan in a single layer, leaving a little bit of room in between (so they'll roast rather than steam).
If you need to use two sheet pans, that's no problem as long as your oven accommodates two sheet pans at once.
Place the baking sheet on the lower rack and roast for 20 to 25 minutes. The florets should be a medium golden brown with a crispy exterior.
Remove and let cool down for a few minutes. Switch the oven heat to broil.
prepare the sauce
While the cauliflower cooks, whisk together all sauce ingredients in a large bowl until combined (see Notes for sauce tips). Carefully pour the florets into the sauce bowl. Use a large spoon to gently fold the florets into the sauce, until all pieces are coated.
Return to the florets to the lined sheet pan, and place under the broiler on the lower rack (yes, the lower rack). Let the sauce-coated florets reheat for 3 to 4 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don't singe. Remove from oven and let rest.
* Bagged cauliflower florets is absolutely fine. Otherwise, choose a cauliflower head that's slightly more than 1 pound, to account for the leaves and stems you'll remove. Trim the cauliflower into 2-bite florets.Tips: To minimize the mess, use large mixing bowls for the batter and panko crumbs. Drop a handful of flour-coated florets into the batter bowl, and use an Asian spider strainer/skimmer to scoop and turn the florets, coating them in the batter. Then, pick up a cluster of florets in the strainer and shake them over the bowl to drain off the batter. Then drop them into the panko bowl. Coat the florets with the panko crumbs by using the saute motion that chefs use with skillets (kind of a jerk-and-toss). If you're new to this hold the bowl over the prepared the baking sheet to catch any flyaway crumbs.Sauce tip: the amount of sauce created in this recipe is enough to coat the florets, without drowning them in it. I prefer it this way for a couple of reasons: (1) putting them back under the broilers lets them firm up a bit, since they're not mired in liquids, and (2) it creates a better balance (imo) of sauce to crispy cauliflower to sauce. But if you love your crispy bites coated generously with saucy sauce, just double the sauce recipe for the same amount of cauliflower.
Sweet & Spicy Cauliflower Bites - 2 Ways was originally published on https://soupaddict.com/sweet-spicy-cauliflower-bites/