There are abundant recipes for buffalo-style cauliflower on the internet. Some of them even call the little florets “wings.” I honestly find it to be quite a bit of work for something that doesn’t totally satiate me. There’s a batter/coating step that’s kinda messy. There’s two cooking stages. It always feels like a lot of dishes and time spent for a snack. Every time I make and eat these little bites, I remember that I’d be just as satisfied with roasted/sautéed cauliflower tossed with some hot sauce (and then promptly regret that I didn’t do exactly that).
We’re on a wholesome comfort food bender around here and buffalo-style something has been on my list for a while. I was toying around with a chili/stew, but it was slightly… sweaty (lol) to keep eating steamy mouthfuls of hot stuff. I thought about a fancy toast option to break everything up, but wasn’t terribly excited about it. A cozy, fluffy, and crispy potato jacket seemed like the answer I was looking for, and it was!
The potato counters that sharp spice with creamy mushiness and crunchy-salty edges. I originally intended to do this with sweet potatoes, but then imagined the final photo as a sea-of-orange and decided to go russetts all the way–it’s an Instagram-able world and I just live in it haha.
So this one is in the spirit of those cauliflower “wings,” but made into a main course and a bit less fussy. Ten core ingredients! You make a very basic vegetable and chickpea stew while the potatoes bake, stuff those babies, and then heat the whole thing through. Simple!
I always go salt-baked for the potatoes because I eat the skin and this method guarantees extra crispy edges. This is definitely a hearty and warm meal to help you ease into those first cool nights. The leaves are starting to change here, and the heavy duvets are out. A couple of these sauced/stewed up potato jackets, some greens on the side, and maybe a glass of wine sounds like the perfect cozy weeknight to me. Maybe it does to you too?
TWICE BAKED POTATOES WITH BUFFALO CHICKPEAS AND CAULIFLOWER
Print the recipe here!
NOTES: There’s a bunch of different Buffalo-style hot sauces on the market, and a lot of them have some scary ingredient lists. I’d recommend seeking out Tessamae’s Buffalo sauce. It comes in mild and hot, is super clean ingredient-wise, and tastes great. I actually don’t season the filling of this with salt, which might sound sorta shocking if you’ve been following this site. Most Buffalo sauces have a good amount of salt already, so I held back and found my finished product quite tasty without it. Taste as you go and judge for yourself!
4 russet potatoes, scrubbed
½ cup finely chopped shallot (about 2 small shallots)
1 stalk celery, finely chopped (reserve inner leaves)
½ teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups small cauliflower florets
1 cup cooked chickpeas
½ cup vegetable stock
½ cup canned crushed tomatoes (I prefer fire-roasted)
¼ cup Buffalo-style hot sauce
handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set up the two oven racks in the middle of the oven. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack.
Dry off the potatoes and set them on a plate. Prick a few holes into the potatoes with the tines of a fork. Lightly brush them on all sides with grapeseed oil and sprinkle them with salt. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack above the baking sheet. Bake the potatoes until tender and the skin feels slightly crisp, about 1-1 ½ hours.
While the potatoes are baking, make the buffalo chickpea filling. Heat a braiser-style pot or deep skillet (with a lid) over medium heat. Drizzle about a teaspoon of grapeseed oil into the pot. Throw the shallots into the pot and sauté until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the celery and sauté another 2 minutes. Add the paprika and garlic, and stir.
Add the cauliflower and chickpeas to the pot and stir again. Pour in the vegetable stock and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and Buffalo sauce and stir. Season the mixture with black pepper and bring it to a boil. Let the buffalo chickpea mixture simmer, covered, until the cauliflower is tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Once the potatoes are baked and you can handle them, cut them in half lengthwise. Lay the halves on a parchment lined baking sheet. Scoop out 1 tablespoon or so of potato from each half. You can eat this cooked potato on the spot or save it for another use. Lightly mash the insides of the potatoes with a fork.
Gently spoon the buffalo chickpea mixture into the baked potato halves. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake potatoes for another 12-15 minutes, or until the buffalo chickpea filling is hot.
Serve twice baked potatoes hot, topped with extra black pepper, extra hot sauce, chopped parsley, and celery leaves.