You know what’s really fun about being Leighto-Greato? Cooking for people who aren’t used to good ol’ fashioned home cookin’. Read: cooking for the Boyfriend’s friends while they’re watching football. No one appreciates a nacho stacked with homemade refried beans and leftover pulled pork like a 28-year-old, male, single investment banker* who has eaten every meal in living memory at the office, chained to his desk.
I am super excited for a football season full of all my favorite foods: bacon-wrapped chicken wings, chili, deviled eggs, nachos, chips and dip, chips and salsa, just chips (what?). The key to a great football-watching spread, though, is something unexpected.
I’m not saying you should include stuffed tomatoes among the finger foods (too hard to eat, wrong flavor profile) — though it might be fun to do a French Provincial-themed football spread. No? No, you’re right, that doesn’t sound fun. A little gross, and pretty disappointing for everyone who was expecting wings. (How many times do you think I can link to wings this post? But seriously, y’all, they ‘re amazing.) What I am saying is that you should do something that fits with the overall theme, but also makes people do that funny side head-tilt that we usually see puppies do. Something like buffalo cauliflower.
I am going to spend a lot of time this fall talking about roasted vegetables, and things are starting to cool off in New York (whaaaaaat? where has summer gone?) and this weekend seems like a perfect time to fire up the ol’ oven. This recipe is totally easy — just cauliflower roasted in the oven with a little olive oil, a little sauce on the stove, and a quick 2-ingredient dip — but absolutely delicious. With a stack of toothpicks on the side, people can stab a delicious little buffaloed floret, dip it in some sauce, and snack away. It’s not terribly healthy — it is literally coated in butter and wing sauce — but it’s healthier than the wings (Ha! Got it! Another one!) and who cares? It’s football season, y’all!
- 1 large head of cauliflower (or two smaller ones)
- 1 T. olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T. butter
- ¼ c. wing sauce (I used Frank's, but any ol' grocery store wing sauce will do)
- ¼ c. blue cheese crumbles
- ¼ c. yogurt (not greek! It will be too thick. Or use greek and thin with a little milk and a squeeze of lemon if you have it)
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Wash the cauliflower and cut into bite-sized chunks (and, if you're feeling really thrifty, rinse and save the leaves and core for a minestrone-style soup this fall...) Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and give them a hefty sprinkling of salt and pepper. Roast the cauliflower in the oven for 30 minutes or so, until it's tender and a little browned on top.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, make the buffalo sauce. Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once it is melted, throw in the garlic and let it get fragrant, then whisk in the wing sauce.
- Also while the cauliflower is roasting, make the dipping sauce. You got it, just stir together the cheese crumbles and the yogurt.
- Also while the cauliflower is roasting, take a minute to google a football term you don't know. (I still don't get what a pocket is but DON'T tell the Boyfriend or I am in for a lot of lectures to try to explain it.)
- Once the cauliflower is done, toss with the wing sauce and serve with the dip.