Nashville Hot Cauliflower

Nashville Hot Cauliflower

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 large cauliflower, washed and cut into large florets
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour or more
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying
Dry rub:
  • 2 tablespoons salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic power
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper or to taste
Nashville hot oil (see Note):
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar or to taste
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Directions
  1. Combine ingredients of dry rub in a small mixing bowl. Transfer cauliflower florets to a large mixing bowl or a large zip lock bag. Sprinkle the rub over cauliflower and stir gently to coat spices evenly over cauliflower. Let it stand for an hour at room temperature.
  2. Make hot oil: Combine dry spices, salt and sugar in a heavy sauce pan. Sauté over medium heat until spices are fragrant, about 3 minutes. Whisk in oil and butter and let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  3. Combine and whisk eggs, buttermilk, water, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper in a large mixing bowl. In another large bowl combine flour, corn starch, remaining salt and pepper.
  4. Dip each cauliflower floret in buttermilk and coat with flour. Repeat the process.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan until hot enough to fry. Fry florets in batches of 4 to 5 until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain excess oil on a wire racked pan or paper towel lined plate.
  6. Transfer florets to a large mixing bowl. Pour hot oil over cauliflower and stir to coat with sauce. Serve cauliflower florets over white bread with pickles.
Notes
Try to keep cauliflower florets as large as possible. Smaller ones tend to break easily while dipping in buttermilk and coating in flour. Instead of shallow dishes, mixing bowls work better for dipping and coating florets. The recipe of Nashville Hot Oil is adapted from Chef Steve Raichlen's Projectsmoke.