Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sunday Brunch: Cornmeal Waffles

I love my new belgian waffle maker. As a brief product plug, it's the Villaware Classic Belgian Waffle Iron. The waffles come out in a great shape, you can adjust the darkness (like a toaster) and I have had no problems at all with sticking, which is definitely a plus for a waffle-maker. The other thing I like about it is that it has an alarm that beeps when the waffle is done. Sure, it's annoying, but it also means that I can go off and do other things while my waffle cooks. Like drink coffee. Or blog.
Getting back to the waffles, these were great. I adapted them from the Lark Creek Inn's (in Northern California) recipe for Blue Corn Waffles with Lavender Cream. I'm not a big fan of floral flavors, nor cream on my waffles, so I omitted the cream entirely and opted for regular cornmeal instead of blue. Since I had gone yellow with the color of the waffles, I decided to add some lemon zest to the batter as well.
Initially, I assumed that maple syrup would not be a good pairing for these waffles because of the lemon flavor. I thought that they might be best with just sugar, or perhaps butter. I was completely wrong. They were fantastic with maplye syrup. The waffles were crisp on the outside and moist within, with a great texture from the cornmeal. They were filling, but not heavy in the least. The lemon flavor was able to cut through the maple syrup and, instead of clashing with it, brighted the entire dish. I really, really liked them.
If you're interested, the waffles are also excellent plain and can be refreshed in the toaster if made in advance.

Cornmeal Waffles with a Hint of Lemon
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly
zest of 1 lemon (2-3 tsp)

In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, buttermilk, butter and lemon zest. Pour into cornmeal mixture.
Heat your waffle iron and cook according to directions.
Serve immediately, with maple syrup, or cool completely and freeze for future breakfasts.
Serves 4.

Note: The serving is approximate, as it depends on the size of your waffle maker. I was also fairly lax in measuring the butter that I used, so it is more likely I used about 4 or 5 teaspoonfuls as opposed to a full 2 tablespoons. It's nice to know that the recipe is a bit flexible if you want to cut out a few extra grams of fat!