24 January 2007

Garlic-Tabasco Savory Waffles

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned Garlic-Tabasco Savory Waffles (photo at right from December '05 from my old personal site), and figured I ought to explain what I was talking about. Fredric showed some interest, and by the way you ought to check out his latest article on his more formal website, involving a scrumptious Alice Waters recipe.

For the base, I use this recipe, which yields a good bit of yeast batter that has to rest overnight. Boxed waffle mixes (such as Krusteaz) will work OK, but generally a yeast batter tastes better and the waffle has a structure closer to bread, with good gluten and large bubbles. Mixes tend to be sort of granular, more of a shortbread consistency.

Once you've got the batter, you can do a lot of different things. Many people like chocolate chips or blueberries or other sweet items, but I like to make them savory. For instance, finely dice a few cloves of garlic, add in a few dashes of Tabasco sauce, and then make your waffles. Or perhaps some basil, sun-dried tomatoes, and sharp cheddar. Or tiny bits of cooked or cured sausage with green onions. The main thing is to make little pieces of whatever you're going to use, and you don't have to use all of your batter for one style: split it up in separate bowls and experiment.

Savory waffles taste great on their own, and might benefit from just a bit of butter. Don't go slopping syrup on them, save that for the regular or sweet waffles. When I get in a waffle mood, I usually make a dozen or two, and freeze the majority of them for use later. Though they look strange on the plate, they make a good substitute for the dinner roll or sliced baguette. Imagine a grilled chicken breast or medallions of pork tenderloin with any of the above suggestions.

P.S. One night after making a bunch of waffles, I got curious and scrambled two eggs and then dumped them on the waffle iron. I was rewarded with a perfect, fluffy waffle made entirely of eggs. It was an impressive sight for about fifteen seconds until it wilted and shriveled into a pathetic shadow of its former glory. Yet I remain confident that a fast food chain will someday find a way to make this work and earn millions off it.

1 comment:

fredric koeppel said...

Benito, thanks for the link. If you want to make the panade, I'll send you the recipe. Remember that in "Mildred Pierce" the restaurant Joan Crawford owns features chicken on waffles; they're so popular that she launches a chain of diners.