Inspired by Chopped, this Fried Cauliflower with Spicy Avocado Cream
is one delicious appetizer!
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The 4 of us asked for suggestions via social media and we landed on a basket of ingredients that was usable, although a bit strange indeed. Wondering what was in our basket? Avocado, sriracha, cauliflower and mortadella. Well, that’s interesting. Avocados and sriracha was a cinch. But how could I work cauliflower into the recipe? And what the heck was I going to do with mortadella? (If you haven’t heard of mortadella, it’s a spiced pork sausage common in Italy.) I love Italian meats and cheeses, but mortadella is the one meat that I’ve never particularly cared for. This was bound to get interesting!
I mentioned the Chopped post to my wife, and she immediately suggested fried cauliflower. Apparently fried cauliflower is very common up north…or at least in Altoona, PA. I’m from the South, so I’m used to fried foods, but fried cauliflower was a new one to me. That’s ok! I figured why not give it a shot and see what happens. Once the cauliflower was taken care of, the other ingredients fell into place pretty quickly. Fried cauliflower needs a dipping sauce right? Of course it does! Check the avocado and sriracha off the list. But back to that darned mortadella…how could I incorporate that one?
I fried up a bit of the mortadella in a skillet just to see how it tasted. Um, woah! Hello, mortadella, where have you been hiding my whole life? It was like a crispy piece of peppery bacon. Not exactly the same, but close enough. I instantly knew how to use the mortadella!
I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical about this recipe, though. I mean it sounded good on paper…but a lot of things sound good. Would it actually taste good? Yes, yes, and more yes! I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious this Fried Cauliflower with Spicy Avocado Cream turned out! I may or may not have nibbled on this the entire time I was taking these pictures.
Fried Cauliflower with Spicy Avocado Cream
For the Fried Cauliflower
For the Fried Cauliflower
- Preheat fryer oil to 375°F. (Tip: If you don’t have a deep fry thermometer, then you can drop a pinch of flour into the oil. If it browns and bubbles immediately, then the oil is ready to go!)
- While the oil is heating, place the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket; steam for 8-10 minutes. (Note: The florets should still be fairly firm after steaming.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk.
- In another medium bowl, combine the salt, pepper, flour, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne (optional).
- Place cauliflower florets into the egg mixture; stir until well coated.
- Transfer florets into the flour mixture; stir until well coated.
- Carefully transfer a handful of florets into the preheated oil. Fry for 3-5 minutes, or until florets are golden brown in color. Place florets on paper towels to drain.
- Allow oil to return to 375°F; repeat until all florets have been fried.
For the Spicy Avocado Dipping Sauce
- Place the cubed mortadella in a frying pan over medium-low heat; cook for 7-8 minutes or until slightly crispy. Transfer mortadella onto a paper towel and pat dry.
- Place the remaining ingredients (avocado, sour cream, garlic, lime juice, sriracha and salt) into a blender or small food processor. Pulse until smooth.
- Transfer Avocado Dip into serving bowl and garnish with the crispy mortadella.
What did my fellow comrades come up with? Glad you asked! Before we get there, I must say that blogging is an awesome way to meet people you never would have known otherwise. Take these 3 dudes for example. The dude food blogger world is pretty small, so it’s no surprise that we ended up finding each other on the interwebs. Ironically enough, we’re all based in New York…although I’m the only one who doesn’t live down in the City. I’ll take the apple trees and Saratoga horse racing of upstate New York! We’ve
adopted stolen the name Wolfpack for our little cohort from the four dudes in the Hangover movies…and I’ve enjoyed following these guys’ blogs. I encourage you to check them out, too!
Chris (Shared Appetite) is the resident wine expert of the Wolfpack, and his recipes are stunning. I seriously want to take a bite out of my computer screen whenever he posts something new! Rumor also has it that he’s pondering a move to upstate New York.
Southwestern Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Sean (Snack Fixation) is one awesome dude! I met Sean at SoFabCon this year, and it was great to chat with him. He focuses on delicious snack food…and he also offers reviews of the best places to snack in NYC. If you’re planning a trip to the City (or even if you aren’t), I highly recommend following Sean to see what he’s up to.
Spicy Mortadella Pasta Salad
Mike (The Iron You) rounds out our group with a focus on healthy cooking. Contrary to popular belief, Mike’s recipes are more paleo than vegan. Either way, they all look delicious…and I’m in constant awe of how he can create so many unique recipes! Plus, he is training for a triathlon in his spare time. And he likes soccer.
Cauliflower Crust Mortadella and Cheese Panini