Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cheddar Bacon Potato Waffles

I came upon this recipe on Serious Eats and decided to make it the next day because by some coincidence, I had all of the ingredients in my refrigerator (even cooked bacon) except for the mashed potatoes.  After buying 3 of the biggest potatoes I've ever seen and making them into mashed potatoes, we were ready to go. 

The batter was easy to make, but the cooking process required some tinkering.  I started out cooking the batter in my panini press because I was worried it would gunk up my waffle iron (my waffle iron is well seasoned and I didn't want to ruin it by having to wash it to remove stuck on bits), but that didn't work so well.  The waffles ended up very thin and fragile.  However, I could see the batter didn't stick to the grill plates, so decided to chance it with my waffle iron after all.  It worked great!  No sticking at all.  

You do need to cook them just right, though.  The temperature should be low enough that the waffle can cook through nicely inside without getting overdone on the outside.  If you cook the waffles at too high of a temperature, they will turn golden on the outside, but will be very difficult to remove from the iron because the inside will be too soft.  You will need to experiment some with your waffle iron and use a timer, but in my Black & Decker waffle iron, 6 minutes with the temperature at to the lowest waffle setting was perfect.  Additionally, if you open the iron too early, the waffle will tear in half with half stuck to the bottom grate and half to the top, so leave it alone for 3 minutes or so before checking!  I also decided to make big waffles instead of smaller ones because the batter tended to join together in the waffle iron, anyway.  You can just cut them apart along the indentations if you want smaller ones.
All the fiddling paid off, though, because these waffles were awesome!  When I asked my husband how many stars they get, he said, "a million!"- high praise!  I really enjoyed them, too.  Very yummy.  Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and tons of flavor from the cheese, bacon, and green onions.  I also didn't mash my potatoes very finely, so the waffles had delightful little chunks of potato in them.  The waffles are great plain, but a little sour cream makes them extra special.  For some reason salad with waffles seemed kind of odd, so we had them with applesauce on the side.
Below is my slightly tweaked version of the recipe.  I doubled also doubled it.  To make the mashed potatoes, I just added about 4 Tbsp butter, enough milk to make them the right consistency, and salt and pepper to taste.  This would be a great use for leftover mashed potatoes, though!
Quick Note:  Leftover waffles can be reheated on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in an oven set to 350 until hot and crispy, about 15 minutes.
Cheddar Bacon Potato Waffles
about 5 C of your favorite mashed potato recipe (leftover or freshly made, mine were warm)
1/2 C buttermilk
1/4 C vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 C grated cheddar
3/4 C cooked, crumbled bacon
1/3 C sliced green onions
1 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Brush the plates of a waffle iron with canola oil, and preheat the waffle iron to medium.
Place the mashed potatoes into a large mixing bowl.  Add buttermilk, oil, eggs, cheddar, bacon, and green onions, and stir until combined.  In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper, then stir it into the wet ingredients until well mixed.
To make waffles, spoon about 1 C batter (amount depends on how much your iron holds!) into the center of the greased, preheated waffle iron, and cook until the outside is dark golden.  Don't check on the waffle for at least 3 minutes or you could accidentally tear the waffle in half.  Use a timer so you can get the number of minutes right for the other waffles.  If you can't easily remove the waffle when the outside is dark golden, lower the heat on your waffle iron and cook for another minute or two.
Keep already cooked waffles hot on a platter in the oven set to warm.
Serve waffles with sour cream if desired and fresh fruit or applesauce on the side.
Yield:  About 8 servings as a main dish

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