Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Raiding the Pantry: dress up your waffles

We all know the mantra: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But, important doesn't always translate into exciting or delicious. In this edition of Raiding the Pantry (our first!) we'll help you re-energize an old breakfast classic: the waffle.

Some may have frozen waffles languishing in the back of the freezer, others may have a waffle-maker collecting dust in a closet, patiently sitting in its original packaging. Action figures can be worth more in their original packaging; not so for food gadgets. Regardless of your waffle predicament, now's the time to start eating them again.

Our mission at FoodPair is to help you use all those extra ingredients you bought, but forgot to use. Turns out, a lot of kitchen and pantry staples pair well with waffles, so let's raid the pantry and get cooking!

1. Jazz up the Waffle Batter.

While plain waffle batter is always tasty, it's also a great canvass for other flavors. You can mix almost anything into waffle batter and it'll taste great.

We've had fun making chocolate waffles with the addition of cocoa powder or chocolate sauce. After that, fruit is always a nice touch, so feel free to add jam or sliced fresh fruit into the mix. Here's a great recipe for Banana Waffles with Nutella filling. Another interesting breakfast idea is to add crumbled bacon into the waffle batter.

2. Go Nuts with the Toppings!

Once the waffle is cooked, it can be topped with nearly anything. Any kind of fruit will do. Plus, there are always nuts, chocolate and sugar lying around the house. For dessert, topping a warm waffle with ice cream always does the trick. Finally, for a filling breakfast waffle, feel free to top it with an over-easy egg, ham or bacon and some melted cheese.

3. What Would an Iron Chef do?

Iron Chefs are well known for making tasty dishes out of crazy ingredients, like sea cucumber or jelly fish. But, they also know how to think outside the box and turn ordinary dishes into true artistic creations. Here, we're talking about using your style and creativity to present waffles in new ways. If KFC can create the Double Down and Friendly's can make the Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt, we can develop something new for the waffle.

People have been doing chicken & waffles for decades (perhaps centuries), but how about a savory waffle sandwich for lunch or a cool waffle ice cream sandwich for dessert? For the lunch waffle, try adding your favorite meat, cheese and a spread. For the ice cream sandwich, use your favorite flavor with some nuts and chocolate sauce and top it off with powdered sugar.

4. Energize your Presentation

We can all drop a waffle on a plate, but that's not going to win any style points. Try going vertical by cutting the waffle into pieces and stacking it up on the plate. Or, use the squares to your advantage and create an alternating pattern with your toppings. Finally, a little extra whipped cream, powdered sugar or garnish of mint will make your dish restaurant-worthy.

Have additional tips or creative ideas for waffles? Post them in the comments section!

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