Wacky Waffles

By Angela Denstad Stigeler

Dads can be a little wacky sometimes. And honestly, isn’t that what makes them loveable? So this year, forget buying neck ties or golf gadgets or tools and give him a break from manning the grill. Serve up an unexpected surprise instead, in the form of these savory, cheesy waffles! Made from a hearty cornmeal base, they can be done up as mild or spicy as Dad likes. Don’t skimp on the scallions, which lend a fresh oniony bite. The chipotle pepper gives a hint of smoky heat, though not overwhelming, while the sausage and fried egg on top seal the deal. A little salsa and sour cream could also comfortably sit atop this Father’s Day fiesta plate. And if there are leftover waffles, they’ll do for a ham sandwich anytime, day or night. Whether you serve them for brunch or dinner, Dad’s sure to think these wacky waffles are a wonderful way to celebrate his special day.

Cornmeal-Cheddar-Chipotle Waffles with Fried Eggs and Sausage

Waffles

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup cornmeal (fine or medium grind)

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

4 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated ( about 2 cups)

1 ¾ cups buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 seeded and minced canned chipotle in adobo* or more to taste

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

4 scallions, thinly sliced

Eggs and Chorizo

12 ounces sausage, sweet Italian or Mexican chorizo, casings removed

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 large eggs

salt and freshly ground black pepper

sliced scallions for garnish

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add the cheese and toss to combine, breaking up any clumps.

In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs and chipotle. Gradually whisk in the butter. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together with a spatula until the batter is evenly moistened. The batter will be quite thick. Fold in the scallions.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees and heat a waffle iron. Cook the waffles until golden brown and keep them warm in the oven.

Cook the sausage in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking in into small pieces until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Wipe out the skillet, place over medium heat and add the olive oil and swirl to evenly coat. Crack the eggs into the pan, season with salt and pepper and fry sunny side up or over easy, 2-4 minutes total.

Serve the waffles topped with eggs and sprinkled with sausage. Garnish with scallions, if using.

*Canned chipotles in adobo are smoked jalapeños in a tomato-based sauce. Find them in the Mexican isle of most groceries. Feel free to substitute other peppers, pimentos and/or spices, such as smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne.

Recipe adapted from Waffles: Sweet, Savory, Simple by Dawn Yanagihara.