(Vicki James) How about a red hot quickie? Oh, baby! I thought you'd say “yes”! Why wouldn't you? We are talking fiery morsels of flavor that make you pucker up and beg for mercy in the form of a creamy blue cheese cool-off. Now doesn't that tickle your taste-buds? Because I am talking screamingly good Fourth of July in your mouth fireworks good. Best of all it's fast and easy and unlike some hot, cheap experiences you (or someone you know, wink wink), may have had in the past, this one is guilt free. Nothing you have to lie about tomorrow.
You will experience none of the shame you feel after sucking down a dozen greasy hot wings, but all of the flavor. You can report in to your weight watchers counselor with a clear conscience and if the scales don't tip in your favor, blame it on the sodium, NOT the calories.
So, dear readers, I'm sharing my favorite new discovery and you are going to love it. Are your ready? Don't laugh now: Buffalo Cauliflower Bites. This is so easy, but so genius.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut a head of cauliflower into florets. Note they are the same size and shape as a chicken drumette. Toss the florets in 2 Tbsps. Olive oil, ½ tsp. salt and a goodly quantity of freshly ground black pepper. Spread the florets in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and sprinkle with 1 tsp. garlic powder and toss them again. Return the garlic crusted florets to the oven for another 10 minutes. While they are in the oven, melt 1 Tbsp. of unsalted butter and add it to ½ cup hot sauce. However, when I say “hot sauce” please know that I mean Frank’s Hot Sauce, occupying the zenith above all other hot sauces, reigning at the apex of the hot sauce Galaxy.. I wish they were paying me to say this, but they aren't, so you know I am totally sincere in my loyalty and adoration.
Having combined your melted butter and Frank’s in a bowl (maybe the same bowl you used to toss the florets in olive oil before you cooked them?), add the cooked florets and toss them in the sauce. In doesn't hurt to leave them in the sauce a few minutes and toss them some more, because the cauliflower absorbs the flavor even better than chicken wings. It's going to get intense!
But don't worry, because while the cauliflower was roasting, you combined ¾ cups of Greek yogurt, 1 green onion finely chopped, ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese, 2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise and 2 tsp. cider vinegar.. Just as soon as those florets are cool enough to handle, dip them in your blue cheese sauce and close your lips around some pure bliss.
This recipe should serve 6 to 8 if you're feeling charitable and magnanimous. But if you’re feeling greedy and selfish, it serves 3 to 4. You should just go ahead and plan on the latter because once you taste them, you may not be in the mood to share. Clearly, if you have people around you have to feed, like you're hosting a party, you need to prepare a second batch so that your guests don't find you holed up in the utility closet behind the hot water heater vacuuming up every succulent tidbit by yourself. Awkward!
“Cooking is one of the strongest ceremonies for life. When recipes are put together, the kitchen is a chemical laboratory involving air, fire, water and the earth. This is what gives value to humans and elevates their spiritual qualities. If you take a frozen box and stick it in the microwave, you become connected to the factory.”
“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain