Time to Heat Things Up, Make a Stand for Pure Goodness: “Waffling” May Be Poor Politics, But Who Can’t Love the Chef Who Serves Up Waffles for Breakfast, Brunch – or Dinner?
I don’t know about you, but I love serving making and serving waffles at our weekend brunches – about as much as my husband and guests love devouring them! Don’t get me wrong, pancakes are good, french toast can be absolutely divine, and quiche never fails to impress. But waffles are my absolute favorite brunch meal.
One Reason Waffles Are Brunch Winners Is Their Versatility: You Can Serve Them Sweet or Savory – With Toppings to Match!
Everyone thinks first of sweet waffles. That’s why the standard image of a waffle generally comes with butter and syrup. But many of you are just as comfortable with healthier versions, topped with fresh fruit, or perhaps peanut butter or nutella.
However, those crispy rectangles or circles with the delicious dimples – made for soaking up the toppings – are just as wonderful served with heartier toppings:
- For example, you could make Cheddar-cheese enhanced waffles, and serve them alongside nice juicy slices of ham. With a crisp green salad on the side?
- Or how about offering your guests a plate on which you’ve artistically ladled heavenly home-made chicken a la king atop a nice, crisp sourdough waffle?
- Then again, there are several restaurants around the country who claim to have originated the concept of serving fried chicken and waffles – on the same plate. Not sure what you think of that. For me, this combo fails to appeal… Either it sounds too heavy or it’s too much brown! I like more color contrast on my plates.
I’m Not Alone in My Love of Freshly Baked Waffles, As You Surely Know.
It’s no coincidence that a lot of motels now feature “make your own” waffle bars as a part of their complimentary continental breakfast offerings:
- A lot of people, including my sister, actually select their lodging based on whether or not the dining room includes one of those ultra cool “Belgian waffle” gizmos that rotate the waffle 180-degrees.
- And who could blame her?
- After all, those babies turn out a delicious, light, crispy product with nice deep pockets for holding your favorite toppings in under three minutes!
Perhaps I ought to tell her I’ve just discovered you can buy a home version of these wonderful Belgian waffle makers on Amazon.com – for much less than a commercial machine would cost.
- The online reviews are glowing, so I expect it’s a great buy…
- But then again, maybe I won’t share this info.
- She might quit visiting me, as my well-used waffle baker isn’t quite so fancy!!
Now, call me an elitist, if you will, but when I talk about serving waffles at home, I’m not talking about those poor excuses for waffles that you can buy in the freezer case at your grocery store. No matter how much the TV commercials tout those things, you’re certain to “let go” of the idea that those are edible treats once you’ve baked – and enjoyed – waffles from scratch.
Waffles aren’t any harder to make than pancakes, though you do need a waffle iron. If cost’s a concern, go check out your local or resale shop, check out what’s available on eBay.com – or just borrow one from a friend. (Though once you start making waffles, you won’t want to give it back!)
Slightly used waffle makers are generally pretty easy to find, so not having one is no excuse for not making homemade waffles. Lots of people receive waffle irons as gifts, and never get around to using them.
- So if you go the thrift shop route, you might even be able to pick one up for under ten bucks.
- Given a choice, go for a vintage waffle baker if you can, the cast iron grill plates make nice crispy waffles. And the housing will probably be more sturdy.
- On the other hand, as mentioned above, there are some pretty fantastic new waffle makers available – there’s even one from Kitchenaid that allows you make two Belgian waffles at the same time! (No waiting!)
- And the newer George Foreman grills include removable waffle plates.
I have to admit though, I can’t make waffles without recalling Donkey, in the Shrek movies.
Specifically, what comes to mind is that scene in the first movie, after Shrek tells Donkey he can spend the night. Donkey is excited, prancing around, and he tells Shrek: “This is gonna be fun! We can stay up late, swapping manly stories, and in the morning, I’m making waffles!“
Don’t know what kind of waffles Donkey serves up in Shrek’s swamp. But true to my “creative foodie” cooking style, I can’t make my waffles the same way twice. No matter how good they are, I know my creative muse will demand something new next time… Hey, maybe that’s how Racheal Ray comes up with all those delicious new variations on her culinary themes!
Regardless, the waffles I just finished serving were pretty darn memorable – and fairly healthy too. Which means they were good enough that I thought I’d jot down the recipe and share it with you.
- Today we had ginger, oatmeal and applesauce-enhanced waffles topped with butter and maple syrup. And a side of maple-flavored sausage patties.
- A topping of grilled apple slices would have made a great alternative to the syrup. And been a fantastic accompaniment to the pork sausage. Yum! Maybe next time!!!
- As always with all cooking, feel free to exercise your own creativity: I made today’s waffles with oatmeal, applesauce and spices, but if you don’t have applesauce or oatmeal on hand, you could substitute a cup of shredded apples and/or a cup of granola…
Here you go…
Splendid Apple Ginger Waffles with Pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup old fashioned (not instant) oatmeal, swirled in blender
½ cup pecans, swirled in blender
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
tablespoon fresh ginger, grated (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
3 large eggs, separated
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup 1% or skim milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Nonstick cooking spray
Preheat a waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Also preheat your oven to 250°F so you can keep the finished waffles warm while you complete the baking process.
Into a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt. Add the oatmeal, pecans and spices and stir to mix evenly.
In a large bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the eggs are a pale yellow color. Add the milk, melted butter, applesauce and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and whisk just until blended. Do not over-mix.
In a third bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the waffle batter, being careful not to over-mix.
Coat the waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray as required and pour enough batter in the iron to just cover waffle grid. (For my George Foreman G5 grill, I use a half cup of batter on each half of the grill.)
Bake according to your grill manufacturer’s instructions until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes, depending upon grill size. Check the waffles for doneness about a minute before you estimate they will be done, and continue cooking if needed, to a golden brown. (In checking for doneness, open the waffle iron carefully and watch out for steam. Do not open the waffle iron for at least 1 minute. If you do, the waffle will split, leaving half the batter on each grid, and you’ll have a mess to clean up!)
That’s all for this post on waffles. Next up: Sourdough waffles!