It’s a bizarre post title, but I’ve already averted alliteration crisis by shaving off the words “baked” and “bites.” It was born after reminiscing about football season in the States and the much-anticipated hint of Springtime that has recently infiltrated overcast London.
I’ve had enough memories involving sticky red fingers to tell you that Buffalo wings are a basic bar food and staple for any American football game. Don’t believe Jessica Simpson; although they’re named after the city of origin (Buffalo, New York), they refer to chicken wings that are deep-fried, tossed in hot sauce, butter, and served with blue cheese or ranch dressing to mellow the heat. Oh, there are also celery sticks involved, although I’m not sure the negative-calorie myth attached to them would be of any use in this situation.
If you’ve ever had Buffalo wings, you’ll understand that this recipe is very loosely inspired, but nonetheless delicious… for one, broccoli is a big part of the story here. It has finally come into season and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate spring; this member of the cabbage family is, after all, technically a flower itself.
The lovely little florets are breaded and baked for a good spicy crunch and drizzled with sauce made from Stilton, a central-England variation of blue cheese (not unlike Roquefort or Gorgonzola, other PDO blue cheeses that can only bear the name if they’re made in a particular region). Usually the hot sauce of choice is Frank’s Red Hot, but you can get away with any based on hot peppers and vinegar. Keep it simple, though; there shouldn’t be many more ingredients than hot peppers, vinegar, garlic, and salt.
Breaded Buffalo Broccoli with Stilton Sauce
- 1 head broccoli, florets of
- 1 egg, beaten
- 150g (1 cup) dry whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 1 t garlic powder
- salt/pepper, to taste
- 30g (¼ cup) Stilton blue cheese, crumbled
- 2 T oat milk
- ¼ cup hot sauce
- 1 t cayenne
Preheat oven to 220ºC and line a baking sheet with foil.
Combine egg and 2 T hot sauce in a large bowl and combine crumbs and spices on a large plate. Dip each the tops of your broccoli florets into the egg mixture, shaking off excess before pressing into the bread crumb mixture and placing (not stem-up, to prevent sticking) onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until broccoli is tender and the crumbs are golden.
Meanwhile, combine milk, cheese, and remaining hot sauce in a small sauce pan and heat until everything melts together. Mix in a dash of cayenne and set aside to drizzle over broccoli when they emerge from the oven, fully baked.
Here’s to Spring and Jessica Simpson.