Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Abominable Food

Just when you thought you'd heard the last of me, I'm back!  You're so glad.  I can feel it.  I got swallowed by a work-dragon, but it mercifully spit me back out.  After a few showers I'm nearly as good as new!

Some foods should never be combined.  Some foods should be considered criminal when paired together.  However, believe it - some foods that sounds absolutely disgusting end up being totally amazing when they get together.  Case in point - the waffle recipe I'm about to share.

Who doesn't love waffles?  Don't tell me, because I just don't know if I could look you in the eye next time.  I for one LOVE waffles.  Real waffles - not eggo waffles.  I love getting out my shiny waffle oven and mixing up a batter that's going to be crispy and airy and light and delicious.  I love the versatility and appeal of a perfectly made waffle.  Then I love messing it up by adding savory ingredients. 

Probably many of you love savory waffles and I'm just the last person on the caboose.  It wouldn't surprise me.  Such things have been known to happen before.

I got my most recent issue of Bon Appetit.  I ripped off the threatning FINAL NOTICE envelope I've been getting since last April and trashed it.  Get a grip, BA.  I'm not renewing.  Blame Rapoport!  It's turned into GQBA.  Bring back Fairchild! *Nerd moment*

Anyway, before I got off track, I was going to say that I saw a recipe that made my heart stop for a moment.  Not just because of the ingredient list (although that made it stop a second time - note to self, get a checkup) but because it sounded so amazing I knew I would have to make it ASAP.

Bacon-Swiss Waffles (adapted from BA - they called for ham and cheddar and I had neither)

Warning: this recipe contains both bacon and copious amounts of butter.
Warning: I am a terrible photographer.
Look!  Salad!

1 package bacon
1 3/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 eggs, separated (they'll be reunited later.  It's a beautiful ending, and not in the least bit disingenuous.)
1 cup of butter, melted.  That's two sticks.  I know.  YIKES!
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup soda water - actually, I used an old almost flat bottle of Pellegrino. 
1-2 small, thin slices of swiss cheese

Turn your broiler on high.  Turn on your vent fan while you're at it.  Maybe open a window.  See where I'm going with this?  Put your bacon on a grill pan and broil it for approximately 13-15 minutes until crispy.  I'm one of those people who likes very crispy bacon, and not soft-ish bacon.  I like it to be almost burned.  This method turned it nice and crispy and not one bit burned though.  My husband was relieved.

Once your bacon is finished (you might need to do it in two batches) then take it out.  Keep it in reserve until needed.  Don't let your 4 year old eat it all.  That would be just wrong!  Plus you need some for the recipe.

Get out your waffle iron.  Dust it off, if need be.  Plug it in.

Sift all of the dry ingredients.  Put the egg whites in your mixer and whip them into shape, shape meaning that they're foamy and white and not too stiff.  Whisk together the wet ingredients.  Guess what?  When you add cold pellegrino to melted butter, it gets kind of clumpy.  It's ok.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and whisk in the wet ingredients except for the egg whites.  Once your dry and wet ingredients are whisked, fold in the egg white.  By "fold" I mean dump in the whipped egg whites, then gently mix together the egg whites and the batter.  It's hard to explain.  Foodies, feel free to rip me a new one in the comments.

Once your batter is ready, open up your waffle iron.  If you don't have a non-stick one, then spray it with cooking spray.  Pour in about 1/4-1/2 cups batter.  If you're like me, you forget that the batter travels and you overdo it, and it will ooze out over the sides.  Don't you be like me!  I just said that in a Jack Nicholson voice.

Before you put the lid on, here is where you add your ingredients.  For my son, I add in some chocolate chips.  For me, I sprinkled bacon pieces and little chopped up pieces of swiss cheese.  For my daughter and husband, I added nothing.  They're waffle purists.

The beauty of your waffle iron is that a little light will blink on when they are finished, between 5 and 10 minutes later.  Awesome!  This recipe made waffles that were very crispy on the outside and light and airy on the inside.  I think that's what happens when you whip the whites separately and then gently fold them in.  Oh, and possibly the scads of butter added. 

I went that one step further and added homemade apricot-raspberry jam to my waffle. Because when you're in for a million calories, what's a few hundred more?  My homemade jam sometimes has almost whole apricot halves in it.  They're the treasure in the jar. 

I also had salad.  Hopefully the salad is fighting off the butter right now.

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