Wondering what to cook during lockdown? Here’s a recipe from MasterChef quarterfinalist Hannah from Suffolk
- Credit: CONTRIBUTED
As we plan and prep our meals during lockdown, here is some inspiration from a MasterChef quarter-finalist.
Hannah Gregory, who made it to the final 16 in the most recent series of the BBC One cooking contest, is in the same position as many of us - stuck at home and wondering what to cook next.
MORE: ‘I am so unbelievably proud of what I accomplished’ - Hannah exits MasterChefBury St Edmunds resident Hannah, who hosts WanderSups supper clubs when not in lockdown, has a comfort food recipe that uses up odds and ends you may have in the fridge, and can also be frozen.
She hopes her lockdown-friendly recipe will put a smile on your face. It is the first of five recipes she will be sharing with us.
Deep Fried Cauliflower Cheese Fritters and Buffalo Sauce Dip - in Hannah’s words
Right now I think we are all in need of a bit of comfort food - this is comfort food and then some. Naughty, filthy, gorgeous, deep-fried deliciousness.
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This recipe is perfect for using up ingredients that may be slightly past their prime - a cauliflower that has seen better days, odds and ends of cheese, stale bread that can be blitzed into breadcrumbs. It can also be frozen so is perfect for using things up even if you don’t plan on eating them for a while.
And as always, if you want the full WanderSups experience - make sure you pour a drink and pop on a playlist (head to Spotify and search WanderSups - every playlist you need is ready and waiting for you) - it’s the only way to cook!
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Serves 2 (if you are as greedy as me)
Spotify playlist - WanderSups Dirty Dishes
Tipple of choice - a cold beer will do the trick!
What you need:
1 cauliflower cut into small florets
150g of cheese grated - I used a mix of Parmesan, Gruyère and cheddar
4 rashers of pancetta/streaky bacon diced (leave this out for a veggie option)
1 tbsp fresh thyme
50g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
300ml full fat milk
Pinch of paprika
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
For the dip:
150ml of a hot sauce such as Franks
170g of butter
1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of cayenne pepper to taste
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of salt
How you do it:
•Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch your florets for 3 minutes.
•Fry your pancetta till crispy and golden.
•Melt your butter in a saucepan and gradually beat in your flour with a wooden spoon. Do this over a medium heat and keep stirring until all the flour is incorporated. Cook it out for a further 2 minutes.
•After the 2 minutes, begin to gradually whisk in the milk - do this in stages and keep whisking to ensure there are no lumps. Check your consistency - you can always add a dash more milk if he’s looking too gloopy.
•Stir in your cheese, make sure it’s all melted and then take off the heat and stir in your cauliflower, pancetta, thyme, seasoning and paprika.
•Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and pour your cauliflower cheese mixture, pop into the freezer for an hour. At this point, you can keep it in the freezer until you want to use it, just make sure to wrap it in cling film or something similar.
•Set up a station with 1 bowl of seasoned flour, 1 bowl of beaten eggs and 1 bowl of breadcrumbs.
•When it’s time to take it out the freezer, it should be holding its shape once taken out of the tray but soft enough to run a knife through. Cut into portions.
•Bring a large pan of vegetable oil to 180C - if you don’t have a thermometer, carefully put the end of a wooden spoon in - if lots of bubbles form around the handle you are good to go. You know the drill here - hot oil is very dangerous, be careful and don’t do this with kids running around. I use a deep casserole dish here as you need to get the oil about 7cm deep and then have a good 5cm between the top of the oil and the top of the pan.
•Dredge your cauliflower portions in the seasoned flour, then the egg, then toss in the bread crumbs.
•When you are ready to start frying, carefully lower your fritters in one at a time into the oil using a slotted spoon. Don’t overcrowd the plan, do it in 3 or 4 batches. The fritters should take around 4-5 minutes until they are golden brown.
•Drain on kitchen paper.
•To make your dip - melt the butter, whisk in the hot sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce. Add in the cayenne pepper, garlic powder and salt to taste. Whisk in a teaspoon of cornflour over a low heat until the sauce thickens and is the perfect dipping consistency.
•Serve your fritters with the dipping sauce, pour a cold beer and enjoy every filthy, decadent mouthful.
•To find out more about WanderSups supper clubs, where the food is inspired by journeys around the world, and what Hannah is currently cooking look for @WanderSups on Instagram.