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  • 1 large or 2 small heads cauliflower
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) granulated onion
  • 1 12-ounce bottle beer, such as lager
  • About 5 to 6 cups frying oil, such as safflower, vegetable or canola (enough to fill tabletop fryer or Dutch oven)
For the sauce
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 to 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • About 1/3 cup cayenne pepper hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot
  • About 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (omit if serving to strict vegetarians as it contains anchovies)
  • Chopped celery greens/leafy tops, to garnish


Serves: 6 appetizer- or snack-sized servings


Trim stem and woody greens from cauliflower and cut into about 24 to 30 generous florets/pieces.

Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a deep skillet or pot. Salt the water and cook cauliflower 1-2 minutes; remove with a spider and cold-shock to stop the cooking process. Drain and dry on a kitchen towel.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or tabletop fryer to 360°F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, 1 teaspoon salt, cornstarch, baking powder and granulated garlic and onion; stream in beer while whisking to combine.

Dunk pieces of cauliflower in the batter and place gently in the hot oil. Cook 6-8 florets at a time so as not to overcrowd the oil. Fry to deep golden brown then drain on a wire rack-lined sheet tray in a warm (275°F) oven. Repeat until all of the cauliflower pieces are cooked.

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, add butter and melt. Add garlic, swirl a minute, then add hot sauce and Worcestershire, if using; swirl a minute more.

Transfer cauliflower to a large bowl, douse with sauce and toss to coat. Serve on a platter garnished with chopped celery greens.