Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Easy Waffles From Scratch

From time to time any experimental cook will find herself stuck with half a bag of this or that, some leftover ingredient from some dish that they tried. A few weeks ago I tried my hand at Ethiopian cooking, and every recipe I found for injera, the traditional pancake-like Ethiopian bread, uses self-rising flour. Not wanting to alter the recipe on my first effort, I bought self-rising flour, which is just all purpose flour with a certain proportion of baking powder and salt mixed in. I won't buy it again now that I know what it is, (I can make it myself), but still I am saddled with about 7/8ths of a bag of flour taking up precious real estate in my tiny pantry. The challenge when you have these extra odds and ends is to find recipes that use the right amount so you can use them up. (Heck, I'm still trying to finish off that chili in adobo that I bought last summer!) What to do with this flour...? Well, the cat house has a waffle maker, and I haven't had a waffle in years (college, maybe?) so the answer is obvious!

It was a challenge to find a fast waffle recipe; many use either yeast or whipped egg whites as leavening agents and require rest time before cooking. Let me tell you, I am a hungry girl in the morning. Sometimes my hunger even wakes me up. Don't know why, but that's just the way I am. So I didn't have the patience to let some batter sit around for an hour. The easiest recipe I found on uses baking powder instead of yeast or whipped egg whites to get a nice light texture, while the vegetable oil--marginally healthier than melted butter because of the lower saturated fat numbers--gives them a lightly crispy exterior, and overall the taste was far superior to the waffles from the just-add-water mix we tried last weekend. Best of all for me, the flour & baking powder measurements made substituting the self-rising flour a cinch. I served them with a simple strawberry sauce made from frozen berries and warm maple syrup. Nothing better on a Sunday morning.

Easy Waffles
Makes 6 7-inch waffles

This basic waffle recipe is quick and simple, whether you are trying to use up self-rising flour, or want to stick to basic. You could also substitute in some whole wheat flour to improve the health-factor :)
* 2 eggs 
* 2 cups all-purpose flour and 4 teaspoons or baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt  
OR 2 cups of self-rising flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder 
* 1 3/4 cups milk
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil 
* 1 tablespoon white sugar 
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat an electric waffle iron.

2. Beat eggs in large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in milk, vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt (if needed) just until smooth.

3. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour approximately 2/3 cup of waffle batter onto hot waffle iron . You will know they are done when the waffle iron lid lifts easily and the waffle is golden brown. Serve hot. 

Simple Strawberry Sauce

You can make this sauce all year long with frozen strawberries. Buy the plain strawberries, not those packed in sugar sauce--although you will be adding sugar to the berries, it's better to control that amount.  

* 1 bag of frozen strawberries 
* 1/4 cup of water
* Sugar, to taste--I used about 1/4 cup
* Juice of 1/4 of a fresh lemon

1. In a medium sauce pan, combine strawberries and water over medium-low heat. Cover, and cook until strawberries have thawed, stirring occasionally.  

2. Using the back of a fork, crush some of the strawberries to thicken the mixture. Add about half of the sugar and lemon juice, and cook for a few minutes until sugar has completely dissolved. Taste, and add more sugar as needed, and cook until it's all dissolved. If you are going to be serving this sauce alongside maple syrup, be sure not to over-sweeten the sauce, since the maple syrup will take care of that!  Serve immediately, or keep in the fridge and reheat gently before serving.


1 comment:

  1. omg I made these waffles today and they were sooooo good. My mom even liked them and shes very hard to please