Fried Cauliflower Florets
Mario's Cauliflower Fritters
- 1 cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 5 Eggs
- Black Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- 2 2 quarts Olive Oil (for deep frying) 2 quarts Olive Oil (for deep frying) Small Heads Cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds; cut into 1-inchflorets) 2 quarts Olive Oil (for deep frying)
- Combine the water, salt, and butter in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Have a whisk and a wooden spoon ready. Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour all at once, whisking it in. Return to the heat and start stirring with the wooden spoon. Cook, stirring constantly, until the dough starts to pull from the sides of the pan and form a ball, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir until lukewarm, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each one completely before adding the next. Crack about 20 turns of black pepper into the dough, and sprinkle a few red pepper flakes, if you would like some heat. Pour into a mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature.
- Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and fill a bowl with 3 cups of ice and 4 cups of water. Plunge the cauliflower into the boiling water and cook until tender (not al dente) 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and refresh in the ice bath. Drain the cauliflower pieces well, dry on a kitchen towel, and place in a mixing bowl. Add the cauliflower to the batter and stir gently to mix well.
- Heat the oil to 375 F in a 6 to 8-quart pot. Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels and preheat the oven to 200 F. Using two tablespoons, form fritters by grabbing a floret of cauliflower with a generous amount of the batter that adheres. Drop the fritter into the hot oil. Cook 6 or 7 at a time until golden brown, flipping them with a slotted spoon.
- Remove to the prepared baking sheet, season with salt, and keep warm in the oven while you fry the remaining fritters. Serve hot.