Alex Guarnaschelli Blogs: These Spicy Fritters Are the Perfect (Veggie!) Game Day Snack
To celebrate Super Bowl 50, we’vepartnered with Taste of the NFL and their chef partners all season long. The charity helps to raise awareness and funds via the season-long Kick Hunger Challenge. For more information or to donate to your favorite team’s city, visit their website, and be sure to check PEOPLE.com every Thursday for a new game day recipe from your favorite celebrity chefs. Here, Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli gives us her recipe for cauliflower fritters.
I am a closet carnivore masquerading as a somewhat-vegetarian type. This recipe harnesses the best of both worlds.
Why? Because cauliflower is so meaty in texture and frying little pieces gives it more heft. It’s satisfying and surprisingly starchy.
I file it under the potato section of vegetables because I find it that satisfying. But it is an acquired taste. If you don’t like the flavor of cauliflower, you aren’t going to fall in love here, because the flavor is celebrated.
For game day, I feel like I am always searching for a snack or a startup dish that is vegetable-based. This is one of my favorites.
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Alex Guarnaschelli’s Spicy Cauliflower Fritters
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. Canola oil, plus 6 cups for frying
2 tsp. coriander seeds, lightly crushed
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 ½ bottles beer
1 large head cauliflower, broken into bite-size florets
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
Marinara sauce, for serving
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1. Make the batter: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 2 tsp. canola oil, coriander seeds and pepper flakes. Stir to blend. Whisk in the beer. Set aside in a warm place. Like bread dough, it will puff up slightly.
2. Arrange the cauliflower pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet. Put the paprika into a small strainer and dust them with the paprika.
3. Cook the cauliflower: In a large pot, heat the remaining 6 cups oil to 375°F. Prepare a baking sheet fitted with a clean kitchen towel to drain the florets as they come out of the oil. Stir the batter slightly. To test the consistency of the batter, put a couple of pieces of cauliflower on a slotted spoon and submerge them in the batter. It should coat the pieces lightly but completely. (Note: If the batter is too thick, add a little water to thin it out. If the batter is too thin, sift and whisk in a little more flour).
4. Drain the excess batter and lower the cauliflower into the oil. It should bubble slightly and the cauliflower should gradually rise to the top. Fry, in small batches, until light brown and transfer them to the kitchen towel. Season with salt. Serve immediately with marinara sauce for dipping.
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