I remember when we got rid of our first waffle iron. I pulled it out of the cabinet one Sunday morning in college, after a good solid month of disuse. When I opened the lid there was a nasty surprise waiting―whoever had cooked waffles last had left the final waffle behind. It had turned into a disgusting sort of Chia Pet in the interim and I decided then and there that we were clearly not responsible enough to be waffle iron owners.
Fast-forward ten years and two children―one of whom loves “rester-naut” waffles―and I recently decided it was time to try again.
We broke in our new waffle iron by making the stuffed, savory waffles below one night for dinner.
They've since been dubbed “clean out the fridge” waffles and you should take that as an order if you're making them.
In other words, don't think too hard beforehand. Open the fridge and dig back for your half-used pickles and olives; pull out that random can of tomatoes dinging around in the pantry. As long as you end up with the correct volume of stuffing ingredients, the waffles will hold together just fine.
One caveat to that, however, is that you do need to get whatever ingredients you're using fairly dry. For example, squeeze all of the juice you can out of those canned tomatoes, strain your relish well and wring out your frozen kale or spinach.
Lastly, even though there's a lot going on inside these waffles, feel free to top them up with even more deliciousness. I love these with a fried egg and hot sauce on top, and―like the good, responsible parents that we now are―we've taught the Kid that you can't eat a waffle without first filling every single indentation on top with sticky maple syrup.
"Clean Out the Fridge" Savory Waffles (makes 4 waffles)
- Butter or non-stick spray to grease your waffle iron
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 1 ¾ cups milk
- 2 eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ½ cup shredded cheese
- 2 strips of crumbled bacon
- 1 ½ cups other filling ingredients, such as frozen kale, tomatoes, relish, olives, kraut, grilled onions, leeks, artichokes or whatever else looks good in your fridge
- Optional toppings like a fried egg, hot sauce, extra cheese or maple syrup
Preheat your waffle iron and coat the cooking surface with either non-stick spray or butter.
Then, in a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk the milk, egg yolks and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing just until the dry ingredients are really moistened.
Next, gently fold in your savory filling items, as well as the bacon and cheese. Remember, the filling should be as wrung out and dry as possible so as not to add too much moisture.
Use an electric mixer to whip the egg whites until they're stiff. Then fold them into the batter, too, leaving a few white fluffs rather than over mixing.
Ladle about 1 cup of batter onto the bottom grid of your waffle iron, shut the lid and cook for about four minutes or until the waffle is browned and crisp.
Top with a fried egg, hot sauce, a little extra cheese or even some maple syrup.