Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Waffles from morning to midnight

I may have mentioned that we have lived in Texas for a little over nine years now.
One of the pluses about this place is the opportunity to experience Southern Cooking.

Oh yeah. Cooking so good, you just wanna stand right up and SLAP somebody!
(They actually say that around here. I personally have never tried it. Sounds like assault and/or battery to me.)

One morning a couple of years ago when we were up in Dallas we went out for breakfast for Fried Chicken and Waffles.
There are actually "Fried Chicken and Waffle" restaurants up there.
It took about six years for us to work up to giving the cuisine a try, but one Sunday (Sunday being THE day for Fried Chicken and Waffles) we were there and it just seemed like the right time to dig in.

Fried Chicken and Waffles, with butter and syrup, strong coffee, and maybe some juice is just the ticket for after church service brunch.
Unless of course your church preaches later, in which case you move right along to Barbecue and Soul Food.
Pork chops, greens, sweet potatoes, ribs, beans with bacon, corn bread....
Umm, umm, umm.
(Hold on a minute, I going next door to slap my neighbor.)
(I'm back. No one was home. Darn.)
The second time Bernie and I had Fried Chicken and Waffles we just swung by Kentucky Fried Chicken on the way home from church and got an order of extra crispy chicken, and then I whupped up a batch of regular waffles.
Talk about fast...those waffles were cuddled up to those chicken pieces in minutes. While it sounds weird, it actually is pretty tasty. I'm saying having fried chicken and waffles about once every five years will be about right for us. Unless we have visitors. In that case I'd be willing to have the combo just for the "Huh?' factor.

As a kid, I wasn't a fan of waffles. My mom always made them the way my dad liked them, which was very crisp. The crispy edges always cut my mouth; I loved soft doughy pancakes instead.

When I got married I got a waffle iron, of course. Doesn't everyone get a waffle iron when they get married? Isn't that written somewhere in the Bible, or the US Constitution or something; for a marriage to be valid the couple must own a waffle iron?

Occasionally I would try to make waffles. Even with Teflon they seemed to stick, and take way too much time to make.

Then one day I was shelving books at the library in San Diego, and I saw this:

An ENTIRE cookbook devoted to waffles!
How weird was that?

I flipped through the pages, and saw recipes like this one:

(with suggested topping below...)

And this one:

Sweet waffles...sure. I had figured that out already.
I had done blueberry waffles, banana waffles, chocolate chip waffles.
But then the book took a turn.

Wild Rice Waffles with Mushroom Sauce?

The recipes cranked my mind wide open. Soon I was making french toast in my waffle iron (try it...just make french toast and stick it into a Belgian waffle maker. Yummy!)
Other ideas included:
Polenta Waffles with Creamy Goat Cheese Sauce.
Blue Corn Chip Waffles with Black Bean Salsa
Smoked Salmon and Dill Waffles
Basil-Parmesan Waffles with Balsamic Tomatoes
(In that recipe you make the waffles, then cut them into bite sized pieces, and place them in the oven to bake for an additional hour. The little squares in the waffles are just perfect for holding dip. Any waffle can be treated in that fashion by the way.)
Mash Potato Waffles with Garlic-Rosemary Oil.
Well, I think you get the idea. There is a LOT you can do with a waffle iron once you start thinking about it.
I do recommend the book.
It's called:
Waffles from morning to midnight
Dorie Greenspan
Next time you give a bride a waffle iron, expand her cooking horizon as well.
Get her the book to go with it.
And seriously, do try Fried Chicken and Waffles, just once.
Just be careful not to spill the coffee when you reach on up and slap somebody.


see you there! said...

Would you believe there is a Chicken and Waffle resturaunt right here in the S.F. Bay Area? (In Oakland). I've been there. Once. I thought it was amusing but not something I'd want over and over.

Some of the waffles in that book are calling my name tho.


Vicki said...

How funny! Doc is fond of saying that something is "so good, it makes you wanna slap your momma!" He's also our resident waffle maker - that's the breakfast treat when we have guests.

Sara said...

I think Dorie Greenspan had waaay too much time on her hands! Oh yes, there's a Chicken and Waffles restaurant in Long Beach too, but I have assiduously avoided it; I don't want to risk falling in love with yet another food combination and forever after experiencing insatiable cravings at all hours of the day and night (smile)...

Seriously though, that's a fascinating cook book. Thanks for sharing. The Tiramisu waffles are calling to me, all the way from Texas!

Anonymous said...

Oh girl, you have my mouth watering for those waffles. Shut my mouth, I would guesss that there is a chicken/waffle place in oakland....they are the berkley you..

running wildly said...

Ok, this post was so funny I'm gonna stand up and SLAP YOU! Seriously, I was laughing out loud. I don't get the waffles and chicken, and I surely don't get the wild rice and mushroom etc etc. Blech. Not a waffle girl myself. And I'll have you know that I DID NOT RECEIVE A WAFFLE MAKER ON MY WEDDING! Nope. Not me. A waffle maker virgin I shall remain. Truth be told, I've never made waffles either. Not even the eggo waffles. Perhaps I'm missing out?

running wildly said...

OH, and PS. Thank you so much for your continuing lovely comments on my blog. You truly have no idea how much your words touch me and often really get me thinking. I appreciate your words and wisdom.....and humor.

Laura said...

WHat? My home-ec, librarian mother is writting a blog about cooking and making book recommendations?!? I just don't know if I can wrap my medical brain around it!
Love you!

Lovella said...

Ah so fun, it sounds like a culinary experience to be sure.

We love waffles with custard and srawberries or blueberries and whipped cream. Hmm, maybe we need to look at a menu change. I'd like to see the look on the kids face next sunday at Brunch when I put the fried chicken and waffles on the table.