waffles! waffles! waffles!
I made waffles the other day, but they all got all ate up before I remembered to take a picture, so instead, I hope you enjoy this picture I drew in jspaint.app.
the unreasonable utility of waffles
I was at Safeway one day, walking around the aisles and hallways, when I saw a waffle maker on sale.
I bought it up and took it home and I started making waffles, and I never fucking stopped. Verily, I am still making waffles nigh unto this very day!
You, dear reader, are most likely most familiar with the standard breakfast waffle. A tasty delight in its own right!
But I am here to tell you the good news about the savory dinner waffle. The waffle you can enjoy with any meal. With soup, as the base of a rice dish, with pasta.
Not only that, but a hearty savory waffle can in fact serve as a meal in its own right!
Indeed, it did for me for a long while. I got into a weekly routine in which I would make a whole bunch of waffles on Sunday night and stick them in the freezer. And every day I would take one of these mighty waffles to work with me to enjoy for lunch. I would pop it in the breakroom toaster oven for a few minutes, drizzle with a little salsa, and nom down on it.
The thing that most people don't realize is this: not only can you make a savory waffle by adding curry, cayenne, ginger, etc to the batter. But you can also make it hearty af by adding a cup of rice or any cooked grain, or a cup of chopped walnuts or almonds or any other kind of nut. You can add chopped greens if you have a bunch of spinach or whatever laying around. You can add pasta.
People, I am here to tell you the good news about waffles. They are ideal vehicles for leftovers. Or leftunders. Or rightovers?
I encourage you to put All Kinds of Stuff in your waffles. They can take it. And you will like it.
Most of my recipes come from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything Vegetarian, a ginormous green tome that we unironically refer to in our house as The Bible. It's seriously great. It's the only cookbook I've encountered that I would happily pull down from off the shelf, open to a random page, and start reading as though it were a novel. His recipe is not vegan though because of the eggs and milk and butter, and needs some adapting.
There are a couple ways to do waffles. The best way, if you have the time to do it, is to make the batter ahead of time with a pinch of active dry yeast, and leave it overnight. The result is a very yeasty, fluffy waffle.
But if you're making these in the heat of the moment, then best go with the quick "Buttermilk" variety.
- Mix up 2c flour, 1 tbsp sugar, 0.5 tsp salt.
- Warm up 0.5 tsp active dry yeast in some warm water. Let it sit there a couple minutes until it's real smelly and foamy.
- Mix it all together with 2c nut/grain milk of your choice, 8 tbsp melted butter (Earth Balance) and a couple drops of vanilla extract
Cover it all up with a towel and let it sit out overnight.
Now it's the next day. Good morning. Hope you slept well.
At this point, the recipe calls for a couple eggs. You're meant to stir in the yolks, and then gently fold in the whites after they've been whipped to stiff peaks. The yolks add fat and flavor and body to the batter, and the whites add a kind of finish to the waffles so they're kind of bright and crisp.
There's no way I've found to recreate this in a vegan recipe. Nonetheless, I always make two flax eggs: 2 tbsp flax seed + 5 tbsp water, let stand for 5 minutes to thicken up real good.
It doesn't bind and it doesn't stiffen, and I don't know if it actually adds that much, but I always do it.
To "fold" your flax egg in, pour it into your batter and then incorporate it just enough so that it's only kind of mixed in. You should have the feeling that the egg is just kind of coating your batter.
That's it! Gently brush the waffle iron with some grapeseed oil. Turn it on medium/high, and add a cup of batter. Spread it all around so it reaches the edges of the waffle iron. Close it up and wait for it to be done.
Some people will tell you to cook it until you stop seeing steam. I don't quite find that reliable. I'll cook it for about 10 minutes, peeking at it from time to time, and taking it out as soon as the top, bottom, and sides are all nice and brown.
Finally, I don't have one of those waffle irons that flips over, but I do find that flipping it helps both sides cook more evenly. So I just flip the entire damn waffle iron over after adding the batter.
Quick Buttermilk Waffles
Mostly the same as above, but uses acid and baking soda for a quick rise instead of yeast.
- Mix up your dry ingredients: 2c flour, 2 tbsp sugar (I usually use honey or agave), 0.5 tsp salt, and 1.5 tsp baking soda
- Make some buttermilk: add 2 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice to 2c vegan milk. Let it breathe a minute. (In this recipe, and in the one above, you don't even need milk here. If you don't have any, just use water, and add a little more fat/butter.)
- Mix it all up with 4 tbsp melted butter. Let it sit a couple minutes to thicken up.
- Fold in 2 flax eggs.
As above, cook em up in the iron!