Monday, March 28, 2016
apple and cheddar cornmeal waffles
When I was young, cornmeal porridge was a regular member in our breakfast congee rotation, and I always looked forward to eating it with my fried eggs. It wasn't until my trip to Italy, though, that I fell in love. I still remember the initial encounter: the waiter set a plate in front of my dad piled high with fish and curious golden discs (fried polenta, as my internet research later revealed). I left the fish alone–I've never been a seafood lover–but before my dad could take a bite, I inhaled every last granule of the polenta. Its crunchy, savory crusts and creamy insides were a world away from the bland breakfast porridge of days past, and I was utterly smitten. I had learned an essential lesson that day: when cornmeal meets a hot pan, beautiful things happen.
Alright... we've already established that cornmeal + direct heat = beauty, yes? Well, the thing I love about waffle makers is that they expose as much surface area as possible to sizzling hot iron. And so, by the transitive property of long division, cornmeal + (waffle) x heat = unimaginable glory. Throw in some sauteed apples and sharp cheddar like I did, and you can conquer the world.
Seriously, these are amazing. The outsides are crunchy and speckled with bits of crisp, almost-burnt cheddar, aka THE BEST form of cheese–keep your cheesy toast in the oven a few minutes longer next time and you will never go back. The insides are fluffy and tender and full of juicy, sweet apple chunks that pair perfectly with the salty cheddar. Bookmark this recipe for the weekend and then treat yourself! You probably deserve it.
Serving suggestion: stack them up high, drizzle them with maple syrup, stab your fork through all the layers, and stuff it in your mouth with your eyes closed.
Apple and Cheddar Cornmeal Waffles
yield: around 6-8?
adapted from A Sweet Pea Chef
Note: These freeze really well, so you can make two batches, cook them all up, and then save them in your freezer for a few weeks of easy breakfast.
3 large apples, diced
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1¾ cups all purpose flour
1¼ cups yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 cups milk
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
Melt butter over medium high heat. Add apples and saute for a minute. Add the brown sugar, stir well, cover the pan, and cook on low heat for 2 minutes. Uncover, stir some more and let cook for another 2 minutes so the liquid can reduce. Set apples aside to cool.
Combine the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder in a bowl, and the egg, milk, brown sugar and oil in another. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until no large lumps remain. Don't overmix!
Fold in the apples and cheddar, and then make your waffles according to the manufacturer's instructions. Eat them plain, or they are pretty epic with maple syrup.
to freeze: Lay the waffles on a rack or baking sheet and place the whole thing in the freezer for an hour. Place the waffles in a freezer bag and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. When I want to eat them, I just nuke them for 15 seconds and stick them in my toaster... magic.