A little while ago, Hungry Hubby gave me the green light to get a waffle maker. Whilst the Apple Chapel boasts a spacious kitchen with plenty of storage, I do try and think carefully before adding more kit, especially if it means losing work top space. Isn’t that always at a premium, no matter how large a kitchen you have?
Fortunately wee have a little corner it can live in without constantly glaring at me, making me feel guilty for losing more food prep space. Having lived in London for 6 years and prior to that, been to Florida as a child, I’d been introduced to the sweet Belgian waffle from an early age – I recall a few blissful moments as a student in London at both the Haagen Daaz cafe and also the Ben & Jerry’s stand on Bond Street with a hot waffle and some seriously indulgent ice cream melting on top of it.
I won’t lie – it was the memory of these treats that made me want a waffle maker of my own but it wasn’t until I mentioned potato waffles to the Hubster that things got real, people. So we shall begin what I expect will turn out to be a series of posts about the Wonder of the Waffle with a savoury slant. Aren’t I just the best wife?
The particular variant I’ll be telling you about today is a sweet potato and spring onion waffle made a little bit rich and tangy by adding some sour cream. Having read many, many recipes and reviews of waffle recipes I felt able to cut loose and create one of my own. I’ve found that you really don’t need as much fat as some recipes out there suggest plus whisking the egg white or whites gives lightness and lift. Also, all waffles I’ve made so far freeze very well and reheat in a moderate oven as good as when they were freshly made. I think they are infinitely customisable and you can make them rather healthy (depending upon your definition of healthy of course – low carb dieters look away now!).
Spring onions may just be my most favourite vegetable. Cooked or raw, they are so versatile and really pack a fresh onion punch plus I love the bright green colour they inject into your food. I have made cheesy potato waffles with caramelised onions and actually, in future I won’t bother as the spring onions are so much faster to prepare and taste so great you don’t need to go to the bother (and extra 20-30 minutes work) to cook a regular brown onion into caramelly, burnished submission. Also, I’ve been extra slothenly since moving into a house with a microwave and have discovered how well they cook sweet potatoes in their skins! Of course you may roast, steam or boil as you please but for me, the microwave delivers a fully cooked sweet pot which is not water logged or flabby, more fluffy an puffy in the middle and if you leave them for 10 minutes, you can peel the skins off super fast leaving the tender, cooked orange flesh ready to whip with a spoon. No mashing required. Excellent ;)
Now, I may have forgotten to whisk the egg white in this photo shoot but I do recommend it if you don’t mind getting another bowl dirty. Although I do give quantities in the recipe below bare in mind that a good waffle batter is about texture – too runny and you’ll get spread out, flat and too crisp a waffle, too thick and you’ll risk a raw middle with crunchy outsides. So add half the flour, mix and assess for texture before adding the rest. Thick, light cake batter or American style pancake batter is what you’re after. If any of you fancy subbing the plain flour for a more nutritionally sound flour, maybe some wholewheat or spelt depending on your dietary requirements do try it and let me know how you get one.
Now my waffle maker was a cheap one but one with good reviews on Amazon plus it makes 4 waffles in one go which makes the process speedy if you are in a hurry to get a meal on the table. I think it’s important to read your instruction book and maybe double check the reviews on a site like Amazon as I picked up lots of advice about length of time to cook, whether to pre-grease or not (you don’t after first use with my VonShef) plus as discussed already – the all-important texture to go for when making up your own recipes. I suspect you will need to watch the first one you make and be cautious on the timings as online reports say anything for 5 to 15 minutes per batch to cook through.
Isn’t that colour fantastic? It really does occur to me these would be excellent at Halloween or Thanksgiving later in the year – that haunting orange glow with the darker brown (and crisp) areas in the furrows do scream Autumn to me, although we are in the throws of Spring in the UK right now.
Compared to those made with your common or garden, ordinary white potato, these do cook up softer so be careful when transferring to a rack as the rest of the batch cook. Sitting for a minute on a baking rack helps them firm up as the steam evaporates and you get the perfect balance of crisp outside to soft fluffy middle only that usually only the best chips promise, with a fraction of the fat though. Score ;)
When it comes to accompaniments to your homemade waffles, then you can really let your imagination run riot. Where you would have chips/fries, bread or even pasta you can wedge a waffle in I’ve found! The BBQ pulled pork waffle with slaw was particularly delicious and one we’ve had a few times already. Savoury waffles can be trotted out for breakfast, lunch or dinner effortlessly (imagine how happy overnight guests would feel with a hot waffle for breakfast!) or as we have done here, with a fried egg and baked beans in an all-day breakfast sort of vibe one night after work.
You can go trailer trashy or glam them up and go all fancy – eggs Benedict on a savoury waffle anyone? Had I had the ingredients in the house this morning, I would have made one of these sweet potato waffles and had it with guacamole and a poached egg with chilli sauce, inspired by a Facebook post from Olive magazine! I do believe there is a waffle recipe out there for everyone and that they should be be putting an appearance in on our weekly menus. I’d love to hear what you create :)
- 3 small sweet potatoes
- 4 spring onions finely minced
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp butter level
- 1/4 cup sour cream 4 tbsp
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- Salt and pepper as liked
Cook your sweet potatoes – I microwave them on high for 5-10 minutes in their skins then leave to stand for 10 minutes before peeling. Steaming or roast would be better than boiling as they tend to go too waterlogged.
Preheat your waffle iron as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions.
Optional – separate your egg and whisk the white until soft peaks are achieved. Put to one side whilst you stir everything else together in a big bowl – just remember to hold back a little of the flour or add a bit more if needed to give a soft, not sloppy batter.
If you whisked your egg white, fold it into the batter. Season as liked (I go heavy on pepper, light on the salt).
Dollop out 1/4 – 1/3 of a cup of batter onto each square on your waffle maker. Cook until crisp on the outside and softly set – you will be able to lift them off with a spatula gently when fully cooked. They are a little more delicate than made with white potato though.
I like to rest my waffles on a baking rack just for a minute whilst I plate up the dinner – it lets the steam evaporate and the waffles become a little more crisp and firm. If you are making a large batch or can only make two at a time, it is work having a baking tray in a low oven to transfer them to to keep warm.