Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Breakfast for dinner: A go-to recipe for waffles

March 3, 2013
  • Waffles
  • Maple pork sausage patties
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Mimosa
For the second consecutive weekend, Diane and I volunteered all day Saturday at a Destination Imagination tournament. For the second consecutive Sunday, I planned a dinner that was easy to prepare. Unlike the previous weekend where my plans for an easy time in the kitchen did not work out,  my plans worked out as this was an easy meal to prepare. Not only was each item easy but the menu didn't present the timing issues that caused problems like those I encountered the previous week.

I don't recall what inspired me to have waffles this week. Unlike many other dishes, though, where I don't have a go-to recipe, I do have a favorite for waffles. Once I tried the recipe for yeasted waffles a few years ago I knew I had a winner. They are very easy to prepare, though some advance planning is required. I prepared the batter for the waffles on Saturday night after we got home from the Tournament. Mixing the ingredients together takes only a few minutes. Perhaps because it was at the end of a long day, I missed the instruction to put the batter into the refrigerator so it stayed at room temperature overnight. I did get it into the fridge the following morning and I don't think this delay in cooling is a problem for either safety or quality. I certainly didn't detect any problems with the final product. The finished waffles were nice and crispy with a soft, rich, and flavorful interior. They were served with butter, maple syrup (Grade B, which is made from sap that flows later in the season, is darker and more strongly flavored than Grade A), and a selection of fruit jams.

Waffles alone does not a full meal make, though breakfast for dinner tends to be a meal lacking in some of the major food groups. (Perhaps I should have included some fresh fruit?) In a recent taste test on Cook's Country, we were surprised (as were the testers) to learn that pre-cooked sausages are better than those you have to cook. We had some Jimmie Dean sausages in the freezer and these were easily thawed and warmed; they were good. In addition, I scrambled some eggs: 4 eggs, a tablespoons of 2% milk, about a teaspoon of salt, and some pepper were whisked together until they were combined. These were then cooked in 1 tablespoon of butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. This simple procedure produced good eggs; they were fluffy and tender though a little runny so I could have cooked them for another minute or so. (A little underdone, though, is better than having eggs that are overcooked and rubbery.) They were also a little too salty so I'll have to remember to cut down on the salt next time. Finally, we had mimosas. I bought an inexpensive brut champagne (it made sense to me to use a dry champagne since it was to be mixed with fruit juice) and mixed it with an equal amount of orange juice.

While I might not have learned as much from this dinner as from the previous week's meal, it was a success. It was simple, everything was good to eat, and it didn't take a lot of time or energy to prepare.

Yeasted Waffles from Cook's Illustrated

The recipe made many more waffles than two of us could have for dinner. But that is OK as I could then  have re-heated waffles every morning for breakfast for the following week. After cooling, the waffles were placed in a zipper lock sandwich bag, half of a 7" waffle in each one, and frozen. At breakfast time they were removed from the freezer and placed in the toaster which was set on 3 (out of 10) and had the frozen option selected. They were served with butter and either jam or some maple syrup that was warmed in the microwave.

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