So, the Super Bowl is in New Jersey this year. I live in New York, not too far from New Jersey, not too far at all. But apparently the media keep referring to it as the “New York Super Bowl” anyway, which has got to be really making New Jerseyans a bit mental. Poor New Jersey. It can’t catch a break these days. At least the State will get a ton of tax revenue, though, right? The least we can do is eat well on Sunday. And since I’m mostly just in it for the food, that works out really well for me. These gluten free cauliflower fritters are an excellent addition to any Super Bowl finger food spread. They take a bit of time, but it’s easy to do it all in stages. I’ll show you how.
You can use whatever dipping sauce you like. These are not spicy little fritters, so it’s nice to have a dip with some real flavor. My dipping sauce is a little something I like to call Better Than Thousand Island Dressing. (It’s the same sauce I made for those Crispy Fried Onionsaround Thanksgiving.)
We’ll be “ricing” some cauliflower. Stop rolling your eyes and hear me out! The whole trend of using cauliflower as “rice,” which leads directly to making cauliflower pizza, is something I resisted mightily. We’re talking major eye rolls, perhaps because I love real gluten free pizza (turn to page 186, please) so much and didn’t want to ruin it for myself or for anyone else. If I did, what would I serve for dinner to my family every Friday night?? But then I made it because well I just broke down, and if it’s too cliché to say that I see the light, then ignore me completely. But I see the light. It’s really good. I like to “rice” the cauliflower ahead of time (like, days ahead of time—I tend to do a couple heads at a time and then freeze it and defrost as needed) since it involves using a food processor and I hate that. But it’s totally food processor-worthy. And if you know me at all that is certainly saying something.
I’m not sure if it’s a super food or not, and that whole concept always seems like a bill of goods to me, but it’s delicious and it’s a vegetable and all 3 of my children (+ my husband) will eat it greedily. Score.
It dresses up a Super Bowl party, too. Which isn’t half bad.
Am I the only one who was hoping the weather for Sunday was going to be cold enough that they would change kickoff to earlier like they said they would? Probably. I’m no night owl, that’s for sure.
Prep time:Cook time:Yield:12 fritters
FRITTERS 1 large head raw cauliflower (to yield about 12 ounces “riced”)
3 eggs (180 g, out of shell) at room temperature
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 ounce finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
8 ounces Asiago cheese, grated (can use another semi-hard cheese)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
First, “rice” the cauliflower. Slice all of the florets off of the cauliflower, rinse them thoroughly, and pulse them in a food processor until they are the texture of short-grain cooked rice. Place the riced cauliflower in a large, microwave-safe bowl (or a medium, heavy-bottom lidded stockpot), add about 2 tablespoons water and cover tightly with plastic wrap (or the stockpot lid). Cook on high for 3 to 4 minutes (or over medium heat for about 5 minutes) until the cauliflower is more tender but still firm. Uncover the bowl or stockpot, and allow the cauliflower to cool until no longer hot to the touch.
Transfer the cooked and riced cauliflower to a large tea towel or cheese cloth, gather the towel or cloth tightly around the cauliflower and wring out all of the moisture. There will be more moisture than you expect. Keep wringing until the cauliflower is clumped and mostly dry. Set it aside.
To a large mixing bowl, add 2 of the 3 eggs and beat well. Add the riced and dried cauliflower, parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and Asiago cheese, and mix to combine. The mixture may seem somewhat dry, but will hold together when pressed. Roll the cauliflower mixture into balls about 1 1/2-inches in diameter, pressing the mixture as firmly together as possible. You should have about 12 balls. Set up a dipping station with three flat bowls. In one bowl, place the cornstarch. In a second, place the remaining egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water. In the final bowl, place the bread crumbs. Roll each ball in the cornstarch, then the egg wash, and finally the bread crumbs, and place it on the prepared baking sheet.*
*Make-ahead Note: The fritters can be made ahead of time up to this point, and frozen in a single layer on a baking sheet until solid, then transferred to a sealed container and kept in the freezer. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator in a single layer on a baking sheet or other flat surface before continuing with the recipe.
Place about 1 inch of oil in a large, heavy-bottom skillet, and place the skillet over medium-low heat. Once the oil is rippling, press the breaded balls firmly between your palms to create a patty about 1/2-inch thick, and place in the oil. Do not crowd the patties in the oil. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly golden brown and beginning to firm up. Place each on paper towels to drain briefly, then return to the prepared baking sheet, placing each fritter about 1 inch from the next. Repeat with the remaining fritters. Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until beginning to sizzle on the bottom. Remove from the oven, and serve after allowing them to set for about 5 minutes.
To make the dipping sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a medium-size bowl and whisk until smooth. Adjust the sauce to taste. The dipping sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead of time, covered and stored in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.