Thursday, April 1, 2010


Today is a lucky day. I am about to share my favorite breakfast of all time...a dish so wonderful that I almost dropped everything and started a restaurant around its shear deliciousness and satisfying character: the egg veggie waffle. Ok, I admit the name is less than elegant and needs some work, but bear with me and you will find a new breakfast of champions.
It all starts with the waffle. This morning's creation was particularly special in that it was mostly pureed sprouted buckwheat grouts (which takes some forethought) mixed with some rolled oats and sourdough starter, and left overnight to bubble away. Waffles are an excellent and delicious way to use your sourdough regularly. Normally, I just use a glob of starter mixed with enough water or milk to create a batter, and since I am always adding different types of flour to replenish the starter (rye, buckwheat, quinoa, etc...), every batch of waffles is a totally unique experience! Contrary to popular belief you do not need any more than the flour, water and starter in the batter (ok, maybe a tad of salt). If you really want, you can add an egg, but since I am making waffles for myself a lot of the time, one egg is too much liquid and protein binding power and the waffles turn out weird. Occasionally for the savory dish (ie. the legendary waffle burger) I toss in some dried herbs like basil and rosemary for a unique touch.

Anyway, once you have the batter set, preheat your waffle iron (preferably belgian style), butter it up even if it's non-stick by rubbing a chunk of cold butter all over the waffle nubbins, stir a pinch of baking soda (not powder) into the batter and pour 'er in. The use of baking soda at the last minute is key here because it reacts with the acidity of the fermented batter and in the heat of the iron creates a tende
r fluffy waffle with a nicely browned crispy exterior. Yum.

The topping involves whatever cooking greens you have around (this morning was kale and rainbow chard) cut to a rough chiffonade (thinly sliced into ribbons) with a poached egg on top. Luckily, the beauty of this dish is that the cooking of the greens and the poaching of the egg and be done easily at the same time in the same pan! Just create a little nest for the egg out of the greens, crack the egg into the nest, add a splash of water, cover tightly and cook over medium heat until the egg is to your liking (I like a nice runny yolk that soaks into the waffle). If you do this a couple times you can time it perfectly so that the waffle and the egg are done at the exact same time.

The rest is quite self explanatory. The nested egg goes onto the waffle, garnishes added (avocado, homemade cream cheese and chopped pistachios) and enjoy! You can trust me in saying that this will not be the last waffle post you will see. If you are looking for an iron (mine is one of two appliances I actually use), check any tag sale this spring - they always seem to be there, or for a non-electric option this was
one of the best investments I have ever made. Apparently Howard Dean once said "I've waffled before. I'll waffle again." I agree.

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