Monday, March 29, 2010

What's for Breakfast?

Rachel here: Ok, so I'm back. Get excited. For my first post this week I made waffles. To be honest, though, I really made waffles three times. I only photographed them the last time, though, when I made them for John's birthday breakfast (along with eggs scrambled with cheddar cheese and slices of apple). The first two times I made them were for myself last week. Those times I used leftover pancake batter (things with which one can eat maple syrup have become umm...important to me as of, really important) figuring they would yield slightly lesser waffles, but delicious ones (and ones with maple syrup on them) all the same.

I was wrong.

The waffles I made last week using pancake batter were totally better than the ones I made for John's birthday breakfast (sorry, sweetheart). While the waffles I made for John (and which are photographed above...clearly they were still edible) were adequate, they grew tough quickly as they cooled (not the case with my pancake batter waffles). And so, though I have a few leftover and I will absolutely dutifully eat them, below I am going to post the waffle batter recipe from The Best Recipe by Cook's Illustrated in addition to the pancake batter recipe I adapted which, to my taste, worked out much better.

Also, I should confess that part of my waffle making frenzy was the result of a desire to make some and freeze them for down the road. And yet, three batters later, there are still no frozen waffles in my house. Oops!

Oh! One more thing. If savory's more your schtick, check out my ma's egg casserole down below. She didn't have a photo, but it sounds absolutely fantastic (as in, I want it for dinner). Enjoy!

makes 4-8 depending on size of waffle iron

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. cornmeal (optional...I was only sort of noticeable)
1 tspn. salt
1/2 tspn. baking soda
2 eggs, separated
1 3/4 c. buttermilk
4 T. butter, melted

First, get your waffle iron going. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks and buttermilk. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff 2-inch peaks. Add the yolk/buttermilk mixture to the dries in a steady stream while mixing gently with a rubber spatula. Do not over mix. Towards the end, add the egg whites, folding them in until just incorporated. Batter should be lumpy and thick. Scoop batter into waffle iron and cook to desired crispness. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Pancakes Batter That Works for Waffles

1 c. all-purpose flour
2 tspn. sugar
1/2 tspn. salt
1/2 tspn. baking powder
1/4 tspn. baking soda
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. milk
1 large egg
2 T. unsalted butter, melted

Turn waffle iron on. Whisk dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a 2-cup measuring cup, combine buttermilk, milk, egg and butter, mixing well (don't add butter when it's super hot or it will cook your egg). Pour into dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into waffle iron (or onto a skillet to make pancakes--just oil the surface first!) and cook to your desired crispness and color. Enjoy!

Janet here: This casserole will feed an army, so it is perfect for brunches or, as in the debut of this particular casserole, for a baby shower or some other kind of brunchy event. I have made it with sausage, bacon, grilled veggies and lox — all to rave reviews. Oh, yes, and it's simple.

Susan's Egg Casserole
serves 12-14

12 eggs
9 slices of white bread, crust cut off, and cut into 1/2" pieces
3 cups milk
6 scallions, diced
1/4 cup chopped, drained pimentos
2 lbs. sausage, cut up (or bacon or smoked salmon; your choice of meat goodies. I've done all of them at various points.)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

The trickiest part is just remembering you have to do this the night before cooking. Toss it all into a bowl. Mix. Put into a 9" X 13" casserole pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day pop it into a 300-degree oven for 60 minutes and get ready to listen to the oohs and ahhs.

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