"EBAY MODELING IS REAL MODELING, MOM! I JUST POSE WITH BACON."
I have strong feelings concerning what is happening in the above photo.
Before we get into them, with the help of Dr. Drew and televised on MTV/VH1/Viacom affiliates, we should talk about Waffles. Capital dub, because they deserve it. When I started working on 'Full', I knew I wanted to do a spin on classics - French Toast, Breakfast Sandwich, Waffles (and soon Pancakes, then Hash). I like to eat breakfast foods out more than any other category of food - I like heaping portions, all of it hot and crispy and brown. But when I go out, I rarely order Waffles. The last time I did was almost three years ago, the morning of one of the best days of my life so far. It was the day my parents bought me a horse, and I named it Secretariat.
No, that never happened, but I can't stop thinking about that horse because every time I watch TV, there is Diane Lane and Lafayette, with hair and a mustache and wild eyes shouting about Equines Overcoming Adversity.
But you can't live a life without human touch, and maybe Waffles are my human touch. So I decided to get a Waffle Iron, and I began making waffles. All of them yeasted, all of them slightly dissapointing. They were waffles, technically, but you know what else is a technical waffle? A thermal shirt from Old Navy. And those are never a good idea. They will keep you from getting taken into police custody in most major cities with nudity laws, but they won't make you happy.
And I wanted to make Chicken and Waffles, but how do you put a spin on that, unless you bread the chicken in barkdust and the waffle is an actual record, pressed between two hot plates. Bacon in the waffle? Many have walked that path, and better than I ever could. Besides, I wanted something sweet and potent and grossly delicious. Here it is, friends. Here it is.
This is a yeasted waffle, made with buttermilk and a bit of cornmeal. I used pastry flour and white cornmeal and buttermilk instead of milk. The batter, sans eggs and dusting of baking soda, sits overnight on the counter - you could stash it in the fridge, but it got so yeasty and tangy sitting out that I can't imagine stashing it away.
Once they're cooked to their golden perfection, which would be a great European Band Name, you saute some sliced, ripe pears in butter until just golden, then drown in maple syrup. Toss in a vanilla bean and let it all come together, before spooning it atop these waffles. Don't stop, don't cool down, your muscles will seize up. Top with some pecan butter and a few slices of thick bacon and then sit down, eat up, and pass out.
Recipe tomorrow. Because there is a surprise coming.
EVERYBODY GETS A HORSE.
Edit: Recipe below!
Buttermilk Cornmeal Waffles with Maple-Poached Pears and Pecan Butter
2 Cups Buttermilk
½ cup warm water
1 packet Active Dry Yeast
1 tsp honey
1 1/3 cups pastry flour
2/3 cup white cornmeal
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) melted and cooled unsalted butter
1 tsp fine salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Stir together the warm water and honey until dissolved. Let the yeast bloom in the honey water – set in a warm spot for five minutes until frothy and foamy and yeasty.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (but not the baking soda). Add in the yeast/water and buttermilk. Whisk until combined, then stream in (whisking the whole while)the melted butter. Cover with an inverted plate or saran wrap and leave on your counter overnight. Trust.
The next morning, separate and whisk in the egg whites, before stirring in the yolks and folding in the whites and baking soda. Preheat your waffle iron per directions, and grease with nonstick spray, oil or melted butter. Cook your waffles according to instructions, and when done, place on a preheated sheet pan or directly on the rack in a low oven (200 degrees) until you’ve cooked enough to feel comfortable.
Then GET TO TOPPIN’.
If you like, now is to the time to get intimate with a few slices of thick bacon. Cook to your liking, and don’t eat any yet.
To serve, stack one or two waffles on a plate. Remove pears with a slotted spoon and arrange on top, before topping with pecan butter, the thickened poaching syrup and bacon.
4 large, just ripe pears (not too soft, if you can help it, but definitely fragrant and ripe)
2 cups Grade B Maple syrup
Juice from half a small lemon (2 teaspoons)
3 Tablespoons butter
1 Vanilla bean, split
In a large skillet, melt the butter until hot. Add the sliced pears in a single layer, cooking until golden brown. Flip, and add the maple syrup and vanilla bean. Swirl the skillet gently, and cook on low to medium heat until syrup has reduced and thickened slightly and pears are soft and just beginning to fall apart. Add the lemon juice, stir gently and keep warm until ready to serve.
1 stick softened butter
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
Mix and mash the butter and pecans until combined. Pack into a small dish, sprinkle with any remaining pecans, and chill until ready to serve. Store any leftover butter in a covered container in the fridge.