Savory Waffles

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“One thing my kids really love,” says Chef Linton Hopkins, “is when it’s raining outside at lunchtime and we make a batch of savory waffles. Instead of sugar and syrup, we just fold in Parmesan and Gruyère, if I have some sitting in the refrigerator, and salt and pepper. We use that as a complement to a bunch of soups, like tomato soup. We have a waffle iron that has shapes of animals and a barn, so I ask my kids, ‘Do you want to be the pig today? Or the chicken? Or have a cow?’ ” If you have some sliced ham, you can fold the waffle and make a fun ham sandwich with the waffle as the perfect crispy bun, and in springtime you can add sautéed and chopped asparagus to the batter.

Try adding herbs and other seasonal produce, like pumpkin puree, to the batter instead of cheese. Hopkins makes his waffles from scratch, but you can use your favorite ready mix. We like the multigrain mix from Bob’s Red Mill.

2 cups waffle and pancake mix
2 eggs
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup grated good Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Gruyère or similar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 200°F and place a waiting plate to warm inside. Heat a waffle maker until a flick of water beads and bounces around.

2. Prepare the waffle mix, adding eggs, milk, oil, salt, and pepper, and mix until just combined, adding more milk if the mix is too thick. It should be the consistency of pudding. Then fold in the cheeses.

3. Lightly butter the waffle maker and spoon judicious dollops of the mix onto the center of the hot waffle iron and spread just a bit. The mix will spread when the lid closes and expand as it cooks, so adding too much will be a bit messy as it bubbles out the sides.

4. As the waffles finish, use a fork to lift them off and put them in the oven to stay warm while the rest are made. Waffles are best served warm. Freeze any leftover waffles to enjoy later.

From What Chefs Feed Their Kids, by Fanae Aaron