January 30, 2013

Savory Cornbread Waffles

So all day on Monday, I had this craving for waffles. With raspberry sauce. Warm and crispy waffles, soft on the inside, drizzled with some of my favorite raspberry red wine sauce. And maybe with a scoop of ice cream. Vanilla ice cream. That gets all melty and soft on the hot waffle and drips into all the squares and you just have this sweet and buttery and sticky delicious mess. Drizzled with raspberry sauce.

But here's the thing: I don't eat lunch. I'm never hungry for it. I snack on pretzels or dried pomegranate seeds during the day, and I'll maybe eat a protein bar on my lunch break. I'm not starving myself or anything; my body just does not want to eat a meal. Predictably, though, my tummy is super-grumbly when I get home from work. So with my only other option for dinner that night being pot roast (I'm not a fan of red meat. Never have been), I figured I would indulge my craving.

I was way too hungry for that sweet, sticky mess I had envisioned, however. No, when I'm that hungry, only something savory will satisfy. Then I remembered we had scallions and shredded cheddar in the fridge. That could be good.
Not only did I find the scallions and the cheese, but fresh cilantro, tiny sweet peppers, and limes. And in the pantry, a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. Hot damn, these waffles were starting to sound epic. And my tummy was starting to growl in earnest. In ten minutes, I had the ingredients chopped, the batter mixed, and the waffle iron preheated.

Yes. I used a mix. It was a quarter to 6 and I was hungry. I feel no shame in this. Neither does my tummy, which was very, very pleased with the end result. Because these waffles? They were good.
Now, to be fair, the flavors most prominent in these waffles were the cornmeal, scallions, and the cilantro. I think the lime juice and sweetness of the mix canceled each other out, and the cheddar really ended up getting lost. I also added a sprinkle of chipotle seasoning blend, just to ramp up the savory aspect.

But, but, these waffles were crispy-crunchy, with only a hint of sweetness and such a great blend of flavors that I maybe ate 2 whole ones for dinner. And one for breakfast this morning (they heat up well in a toaster oven). You could serve them with chili for a fun dinner. Or cut them into quarters and serve with salsa or guacamole in place of chips (great for a certain football game coming up soon, if ya know what I mean). Or  offer them topped with some pico de gallo or sour cream as a unique and tasty brunch dish.

Best of all, you could totally customize them however you want. Want the lime flavor a little more prominent? Add some zest. Prefer spicy? Try jalapenos instead of the bell peppers (how good would that be?). Don't like cilantro? .... I'm not sure what you could use instead. I guess you could skip it? And what's wrong with you? Why don't you like cilantro? Poor cilantro. It's okay. I still love you.
So the moral of the story is: I'm kind of sad I ate the last waffle for breakfast this morning. And don't be mean to cilantro.

Savory Cornbread Waffles {Printable Version}

Yield: 4 waffles

1 box Jiffy® corn muffin mix
½ cup milk
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. melted butter
1 egg
1 small bell pepper, diced
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Handful of chopped fresh cilantro
Handful of chopped scallions
¼ tsp. chipotle seasoning blend (optional)

In a large bowl, mix together the mix, milk, lime juice, butter, and egg until well incorporated (some
lumps are fine). Mix in the remaining ingredients. Cook in a waffle maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Recipe adapted from the one provided on the Jiffy® box