Cooking cauliflower similar to papatas bravas to acquire a spicy and flavorful flavor.
The first time I came across Patatas Bravas was on a date with my now-husband. We had gone to a local tapas-inspired restaurant, and when we saw the potatoes on the menu, we had to have them. When I started Keto, potatoes had to say goodbye, but I still wanted to hold on to this beloved recipe. So today, I bring you my version, Cauliflower Bravas!
Cauliflower bravas should be considered an appetizer, but I have used them as a side dish. It pairs well with my roast pork, or pork chops, but also with the latest recipe lamb loin chops.
To make this recipe, you will need:
- Cauliflower with leaves removed and cut into florets
- Peanut Oil for frying, or preferred oil for frying
- Olive Oil for making sauce
- Garlic cloves, peeled
- Shallot, fine diced
- One can of Diced Tomatoes
- Red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- Sherry Vinegar
- Smoked paprika
See the recipe card for quantities.
Use this section for process shots, alternating between the step and an image showing the step. Users don't like seeing process shots cluttering the recipe card, so include your process shots here.
- Brake Cauliflower down into bite-size florets.
- In a large pot, pour peanut oil and heat to 325℉ for frying. While we wait, let's make the sauce.
In a saute pan, heat olive oil. Add shallots and saute until tender and translucent.
Add the garlic paste, Sherry vinegar, dijon mustard, and red pepper flakes.
Add paprika. Let simmer for about a minute or two.
Add tomatoes. Allow simmering for another 5 minutes or until sauce thickens. Set aside until time to mix with either cauliflower or potatoes.
Hint: For this particular recipe I decided to fry the cauliflower, but the vegetable has so much moisture in it that it got limp after frying. Consider roasting the cauliflower instead if you do not want to either fry it to keep it healthier, or avoid the limp factor.
It is kind of hard to come up with a substitution when the recipe itself is a substitution. But here are a few ideas:
- Celeriac, a.k.a. APIO - Celeriac is considered a low-carb vegetable root and a great substitution for potatoes when making fries. I would consider roasting this instead of frying them.
- Broccoli - Why not? Not many people enjoy cauliflower. I was one until a few months ago. If broccoli is one of your favorite vegetables, try adding the sauce to them.
- Zucchini - Thick slices or chunks of roasted zucchini will pair great with the bravas sauce.
Like I said before, until a few months ago, I was NOT a cauliflower lover. When I kept seeing recipes with cauliflower as I started my KETO journey, I was not encouraged, but the different applications have helped me to enjoy the vegetable. If you are not willing or still do not love cauliflower, add the sauce to your favorite low-carb vegetable.
Honestly, this is a recipe fail. It did not come out as I was hoping, yet it tastes delicious, especially if eaten immediately. Here is how I would cook it next time
- Roasted - Let the cauliflower roast either, as the whole head for 20-30 minutes, or in florets for 15-20 minutes. Then either toss the florets into the sauce or pour the sauce over the cauliflower head.
- Grilled - The beauty of cauliflower is its diverse applications. Cut the cauliflower into thick steaks, grill the steaks, and drizzle the sauce as a main course.
- Breaded - Dust the cauliflower with a mixture of coconut flour and psyllium husk powder before frying to get a crisp outside that will hold on to the sauce.
I am going to give you the equipment necessary for a couple of the variations:
- A large pot that will hold enough oil for frying and will not boil over when a product goes into the oil.
- An immersible thermometer to control the temperature of the oil, or a handheld thermometer that has instant-read like the Thermapen. Would you be interested if I were to offer a video or a pdf on how to use a thermometer and why it is important? Click here for feedback.
This is one of those recipes that must be eaten immediately, especially if fried. If there are any leftovers, I would not keep them longer than 2-3 days. the cauliflower gets soft and it is not as appealing to eat.
The sauce on the other hand can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to a week. If you are planning a gathering and want to serve this dish as an appetizer, then consider making the sauce ahead of time and assembling it when needed.
Use fresh cauliflower not frozen. The fresh cauliflower had enough moisture to not stand up to the frying, so frozen cauliflower would have twice as much moisture.
We sometimes take for a granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience, that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with a high smoking-point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
Cauliflower BRAVAS, A Keto Twist To The Beloved Patatas
- One head of cauliflower with leaves removed and cut into florets
- One quart of Peanut Oil for frying
- Half a cup of Olive Oil for making sauce
- Six cloves of garlic peeled
- One shallot fine diced
- One tablespoon of red pepper flakes or to taste
- One teaspoon of salt
- One teaspoon of pepper
- Two tablespoons of Sherry Vinegar
- One teaspoon of smoked paprika
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Heat peanut oil to 325℉. Have cauliflower ready
- Working in batches to avoid overflowing the pot, drop a portion of the cauliflower into the oil and cook until lightly golden. Remove from oil and place in the lined sheet pan.
- Continue until all the cauliflower has been blanched in the oil.
- ***Place the cauliflower in the freezer to cool down completely***
- Once the cauliflower has cooled down entirely and almost frozen, begin working on the sauce.
- In a pestle and mortar (a food processor if pestle and mortar are unavailable), crush the garlic with salt and pepper to make a paste.
- Heat the olive oil in a saute pan at medium-low.
- Add the diced shallots. Cook until shallots are soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic paste, red pepper flakes, and paprika.
- Toss until garlic is golden and soft.
- Add sherry vinegar and cook for another five minutes.
- Remove from the heat and pour into a mixing bowl.
- Bring the cauliflower out from the freezer.
- Like before, in batches, drop the cauliflower into the oil. This time we want to cook it to an even golden brown.
- As the batches cook, remove them and place them into the mixing bowl.
- Once all the cauliflower is cooked. Toss the cauliflower with the chili sauce.
- Serve them as an appetizer or a side dish with garlic aioli.
- Steps one to five could be done ahead of time if preparing this dish for a gathering.