Willful Waffler

I’ll bet the vast majority of you have one.  And I’ll bet that it’s in the back of a cabinet, or on a high shelf, or in a box in a dark corner of ‘that’ closet.

I’m talking about waffle irons.

I use mine about every 6-8 weeks to make traditional waffles.  That’s probably more frequently than most.  Why’d I say “traditional waffles”?

Because those crispy on the outside, soft in the middle dreamy things are but the tip of dimpled iceberg that can be created with a free-standing, electric maker of waffles.

First though, let’s talk about waffles, that jackpot of slumber party breakfasts.  They’re awesome.  And easier than flapjacks, so get out your maker, give it a wipe, and put it to work.  It’s a breeze to whip up a batch from scratch, and then you win the weekend.

Basic waffle batter

waffle batter

2 eggs, beaten

1 2⁄3 cups milk

1⁄3 melted butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

Put milk and butter into a small saucepan, and melt on low.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to lukewarm.  Stir in eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.

Whisk together dry ingredients.  Pour wet ingredients into dry and whisk gently; just until fully mixed. Allow to sit 15-20 minutes.

Heat waffle iron.  Pour in the manufacturer’s recommended amount of batter and cook until golden-brown and cooked through. 

If you want to make blueberry, chocolate chip, pecan or something else, sprinkle on the goodies after you’ve put the batter into the iron.  That way it’s well-distributed, and with plain batter, everybody can choose their own filling.  You could even have a waffle bar.

Store covered batter in fridge up to 5 days.

So you’ve got your plate of breakfast.  Don’t put that thing away!  I’m about to rock your world with all the stuff you can make better and easier by cooking with an iron.

Tater tots:  Oh yeah, tater tots.  Cover the surface completely with thawed tots.  It’ll require some squeezing to close the lid all the way, but do it.  Let them cook for about 4 minutes and they’re crispier than fried, plus cooked without any additional oil.  Top ‘em with a poached egg, and I’m coming to your place for breakfast.

Quesadillas: Lightly butter one side of a flour tortilla and put that side down.  Sprinkle some shredded cheese, and some veggies and maybe some chicken, then top with another buttered tortilla and close.  Cook 3-5 minutes, or until hot and crispy on the outside, and melty in the middle.

Omelets:  Beat your eggs in a blender so you’ve whipped in tons of air.  Pour in the egg, taking care to not overfill.  Sprinkle in your fillings, close, and cook for 3 minutes.

Cornbread:  Imagine floating a cheesy cornbread waffle on the top of a bowl of chili.  Just fill with batter and cook ‘til browned.

Fish cake and falafel: I know they are very different foods, but try saying “fish cake and falafel” out loud without grinning.  Cannot be done.

Grilled Panini:  Cheesy bacon, or Reubens, perchance?

If you don’t own one, I’ve done some research.  Kohls’ wafflers start at $25.00, and Target has 4 models under $20.00, and one’s a Mickey Mouse iron, and another’s a Minnie.  Also, yard sales and thrift stores are great places to score practically unused makers.

Because those former owners, unlike you, my learned friend, had no idea what they could really do.

Thanks for your time.

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