Cauliflower is a winter vegetable that is easy to prepare as a light tapa or side dish. Called coliform in Spanish, this vegetable is commonly available in supermarkets and produce markets throughout the world. Spaniards like to fry all sorts of food, and cauliflower is no exception.
Although some cooks prefer to prepare a thick breading or crust, this recipe makes a much lighter cauliflower. No heavy breading that is dripping in oil...just a quick dip in beaten egg and (optionally) a dusting of flour before popping the cauliflower into the frying pan to brown on all sides. To remove any excess oil, drain the cauliflower on a paper towel. Then, serve with garlicky aioli sauce, or another Spanish sauce for dipping. It is a delicious way to get in on all the health benefits of cauliflower while experimenting with Spanish cuisine.
- Rinse cauliflower head under cold water to remove dirt. Cut the cauliflower florets from the center, leaving short stalks. Discard the heart at the center.
- Pour an inch of water into a large pan or pot and place a steamer inserts into the bottom. Bring water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cover, steaming the florets for about 10 minutes. They should be firm, not soft or soggy. Remove from pan and drain. Allow to cool.
- Beat the eggs in a small mixing bowl. Pour a half-inch or so of oil into a large frying pan and heat on medium. Test if oil if hot enough to fry by adding a small cube of bread to oil. If it browns in one minute, oil is the right temperature (355 F).
- Dip the florets into the beaten egg and immediately place in hot oil. Brown florets on all sides. Remove florets and drain on paper towels. Serve with aioli or other sauce for dipping.
Flour option: If using flour, first dip florets in beaten egg and then into the flour before frying.
Alternate Version: Some cooks like to sprinkle a teaspoon of sweet Spanish paprika into the egg before beating, which will give the cauliflower a reddish color when it is later fired.
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