My all-time favorite game time food is smoked Buffalo wings ̶ or maybe I should say it used to be.
This Smoked Buffalo Cauliflower is a hot contender for the number one spot. Seasoned and then smoked, the cauliflower takes on a more complex flavor and a fantastic crunch. Blis Blast Hot Sauce and a bit of butter make for a quick homemade Buffalo sauce that cannot be beat.
- 1 dried pasilla chile
- 1 tablespoon chopped dried shallot
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
- 2 cauliflower heads
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup hot sauce (we recommend Blis Blast)
- Blue cheese dressing for serving
- Oak wood chunks for smoke
Prepare the smoker for 225°F smoking with oak wood (see detailed instructions for the Kalamazoo Smoker Cabinet following the recipe). Smoking duration will be 3 hours.
Discard the stem from the pasilla chile. Coarsely chop the chile, seeds and all. Place the chopped chile in a spice grinder, add the dried shallot, and grind to a relatively fine powder. We love the Hario Skerton coffee grinder for this task. It will require a couple of passes through the grinder, but the extra flavor you get from freshly-ground spices is worth the effort.
Combine the ground chile and shallots with the salt, paprika and sugar.
Discard the cauliflower leaves and cut the heads down into bite-size florets. They can be rather large because the cauliflower will shrink substantially while it cooks.
Toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet or cutting board. Season on all sides with the spice blend.
Transfer from the baking sheet into the smoker. If your smoker grates or shelves are too open to support the pieces of cauliflower, use a pizza screen to hold them.
Smoke for 3 hours at 225°F with oak wood for flavor.
Remove from the smoker. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the hot sauce. Remove from heat and fold in the cauliflower. Serve with blue cheese dressing for dipping.