These popcorn cauliflower bites make a brilliant party food snack, or a starter when entertaining. To avoid last-minute rushing, coat the cauliflower florets in the crumbs and keep chilled, in a single layer on a tray. Then all you need to do is fry them.
TIME TAKEN: 30 MINUTES
SERVES 8 AS A SNACK
200g chickpea (gram) flour or plain flour
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic salt
350ml milk of choice
1 cauliflower, broken into bitesize florets
150g panko breadcrumbs
sunflower oil, for frying
garlic mayonnaise, to serve
1. Whisk together the flour, paprika, oregano, garlic salt and milk until you have a smooth batter.
2. Dip the cauliflower florets in the batter, allowing excess to drip off, then roll them in the breadcrumbs to evenly coat.
3. Fill a wok or deep frying pan with 5cm sunflower oil and place over a medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, working in a few batches, carefully add the cauliflower florets. They should start to instantly sizzle when hitting the hot oil.
4. Fry for about 2-3 minutes until nicely golden and crisp then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
5. Serve with the garlic mayonnaise to dip into.
Gluten-free Use gluten-free breadcrumbs if you can get them; alternatively, swap the crumbs for polenta or fine cornmeal.
Upgrade There are plenty of other dipping options apart from the garlic mayonnaise. A favourite of mine is combining equal quantities of a creamy blue cheese, such as dolcelatte, with sour cream or crème fraîche and a handful of snipped chives. Or, a close second, is mixing mayonnaise with chipotle and lime juice.
Now buy the book with £6 off
Our recipes are from The Flexible Family Cookbook by Jo Pratt, which is published by Frances Lincoln, price £20. To order a copy for £14 until 13 September go to whsmith.co.uk and enter the code YOUFLEX at the checkout. Book number: 9780711251687. For terms and conditions, see whsmith.co.uk/terms.