So my last post, the pesto pasta salad (link here) was a perfect recipe for a hot summer day. Today’s recipe however, is definitely one for hot food lovers. This is supposed to be a Nashville hot shroom sammie, as in mushroom, but I had to make some adjustments because I am not a fungus fan.
Lucky for me though, the recipe actually has a little blurb at the back of it saying that you can use cauliflower pieces in place in the mushrooms. So everything else in the recipe is the same, aside from having several pieces of cauliflower instead of one big mushroom in the sandwich.
The process for the cauliflower (or mushroom) is pretty classic for any battered and fried thing you may make. There is a dry mix of flour, cornstarch and seasonings. And then there’s also a wet mix consisting of dairy-free milk, vinegar and a little hot sauce. The pattern of the dredging is dry, wet, dry which really helps get a nice crispy coating. The cornstarch specifically, also contributes to the crispiness.
So it fries up in a little oil until tender and golden brown. It took a few batches to go through all of the cauliflower but it is very important to not overcrowd the pan or else the oil will not fry at the right temperature. It is worth the effort though to fry this up because the cauliflower was so crunchy!
Once everything is fried, this is where the “Nashville hot” comes in. You take some of the frying oil and mix that with a large quantity of spices, the main one being cayenne pepper, and then dunk all the cauliflower in it. Let me tell you – these cauliflower bites were so incredibly spicy. I followed the measurements exactly how they were supposed to be and there’s no way I could eat them on their own. I’m very glad they are a part of a sandwich with other components or else I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it.
The other things on the sandwich are lettuce, tomato, pickle and a little mayonnaise. This was so delicious all together because it tamed the heat really well and added extra textures. The veggies also added a lot of freshness which is quite nice when you have fried food, it almost balances it out.
I think if I were to make this again, I would either reduce the amount of cayenne pepper in the hot oil dip or just omit the dip altogether. The cauliflower was so good on its own, if I wanted the extra heat I could just add some hot sauce to the sandwich. But as it is I really enjoyed this recipe and if you’re a spicy food lover, you will love this sammie.