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Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich

by Lauren Toyota from Vegan Comfort Classics

The cauliflower steaks in this YouTube famous recipe for vegan buffalo sandwiches are coated in panko breadcrumbs and are so tasty you certainly won't miss chicken.

From the book


It’s our claim to fame. . . buffalo cauliflower. This recipe is the most visited page on the blog and the most watched YouTube video. Newcomers, feast your eyes on the buffalo cauliflower sandwich! You diehards will notice and recognize the revamp on the breading. I’ve added panko-style breadcrumbs ’cause it makes the cauliflower crispy and crunchy as hell. Not the kind of crunch that’ll tear up the roof of your mouth, but the kind of crunch that’ll definitely make you relapse and forget that you’re biting into a piece of cauliflower. It makes a heck of a good replacement for chicken in this spicy stacked monster of a sandwich!

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For the breaded buffalo cauliflower:
2 cauliflower heads
200g / 7oz plain flour or gluten-free rice flour
4 tsp garlic powder
4 tsp onion powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground pepper
175 ml/6 oz unsweetened non-dairy milk
175 ml/6 oz water
130g / 4½oz panko-style breadcrumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs
4 tbsp vegan butter
350 ml / 12 oz Tabasco buffalo- style hot sauce
For the sandwiches:
4 bread rolls
The Classic Ranch (see link to recipe below)
1 thinly sliced red onion (about 130 g/41⁄2 oz) or pickled red onions
150 g / 5½ oz shredded or finely chopped iceberg or leaf lettuce
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 gherkins

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Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. In this case, non-stick baking paper is absolutely necessary, or the cauliflower and batter will stick to the sheet.

To prepare the cauliflower, remove the leafy parts, being careful not to cut off any florets. Slice each head in half from the top. From the inside of each half, cut a slice 2 – 2.5 cm/3⁄4 – 1 inch thick. You now have 4 large cauliflower cross-sections or steaks. You can reserve the remaining florets to make buffalo bites using the same batter and method or
the Southern Fried Cauliflower (page 46), or you can roast them up for another meal.

Mix the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, non-dairy milk and water together in a bowl until well combined. The amount of liquid or flour may need to be increased if you replace the plain flour with gluten-free flour. It should be thick enough that it doesn’t pool too much around the steak.

Transfer the batter to a wide, shallow dish that will fit your cauliflower steaks. Place the breadcrumbs in another dish or large bowl. Immerse each steak in the batter, using one hand to coat all the crevices and letting just a bit of the excess drip back into the dish.

Coat all sides of the steaks in the breadcrumbs. Place the breaded cauliflower steaks on the baking sheet.

Bake for 25 minutes, until crispy, flipping the steaks halfway through the bake time. If you go to flip the steaks and the batter feels stuck, it needs to bake longer on that side.

Just before the cauliflower finishes baking, melt the vegan butter and whisk it into the hot sauce in a shallow dish.

Remove the cauliflower from the oven. You may want to let the steaks cool slightly so you can handle them. You may need to replace the non-stick baking paper with a new sheet if it’s really soaked through or burned quite a bit.

Coat the breaded cauliflower steaks evenly on all sides in the buffalo sauce. Reserve the excess sauce to baste the cauliflower before serving. Bake again for 25 minutes, flipping the steaks halfway through the bake time.

To assemble the sandwiches, just before the cauliflower is done baking, cut the rolls in half and toast, if you like. Spread a generous amount of ranch dressing on the cut sides of each roll. Place a buffalo cauliflower steak on the bottom half. Add the red onion slices, lettuce, tomato slices and then the top half of the roll. Serve with a gherkin or slice the gherkins and add to the sandwich.

Hot tip: You can slice leftover buffalo cauliflower steaks into breaded strips and make a salad with greens and veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion. Then drown it in ranch dressing. It’s outstanding! You can also use half Tabasco buffalo-style hot sauce and half BBQ sauce for a milder version of this sandwich.

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From the book: Vegan Comfort Classics

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