I am a big fan of hostess gifts, convenience, whole grains, and real food. Can these all be combined? Yes! I am also a big fan of waffles (remember Happy Shiny Waffles and Sunday memories imprinted with a waffle-patterned perfection?) I am delighted to share a recipe that I promise you'll turn to again and again. I think it would make a perfect Christmas morning breakfast. It would be great to bring to a friend or family member. And, trust me, it's fantastic to have on on hand.
Maybe you're thinking "Grains" means dinner and "Mains" certainly leads us in that direction. But why should breakfast be left out? Anyway, haven't you heard of chicken and waffles?
In this new book Grain Mains: 101 Surprising and Satisfying Whole Grain Recipes for Every Meal of the Day, you can indeed find "main course" recipes for breakfast lunch and dinner. I have tried their barley risotto (even with non-dairy substitutions, it was great) and the recipe I'm sharing here is one I think is a great seasonal, convenience: waffle mix!
Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough are two of the founding members of the Goaterie. If you're at all curious about exploring the most popular red meat eaten around the world, do have a look at Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese. Award-winning, prolific, funny, these guys have their finger on the pulse of the food zeitgeist and they can turn out a cookbook as quickly as some of us take to decide what's for dinner. In fact, these guys are so prolific they probably will have another book or two done during the time it's taken me to write this review.
Remember Empanadas de Cabrito Medianoche? My midnight goat empanadas were delicious. Make them with this recipe! (If you're on Twitter follow the hashtag #grainiacs and #goaterie for posts, recipes, and news on both grains and goat.)
This book (click on the cover to buy it now) is well designed for anyone looking to incorporate more grains into their diet. If you don't know your farro from your freekeh, this will give you a good "grains 101" including the difference between various grains and the forms each grain might take on your grocer's shelf. Helpful tables and photos enable you to determine which grains benefit from an overnight soak, which recipes can be made in the event you forgot to soak anything, and substitutions and suggestions accompany most recipes.
The only thing that might have been helpful for newbies in the grainiac group would have been a sources page. Here are some of my very favorite sources:
1. Four Star Farms - Their Triticale berries and wheat flours are superior. The Triticale berries cook up so quickly and are so tender, you'll want to add them to many dishes.
2. Koda Farms - best brown rice (Mark Bittman says "probably the best produced in the U.S." - I agree) and beautiful heirloom varietal Japanese white rice which nothing else compares to.
3. Eden Foods - These bags of quick cooking whole grain flakes can be hard to find in groceries. Luckily, they're easy to buy online. I use the Kamut in my DIY granola, recently called "beguiling" (blushing).
4. Bluebird Grain Farms - another family farm I love. Their Emmer Farro is fantastic.
Homemade Waffle Mix
Cornmeal and Oat Waffle Mix
- 4 C coarse, whole-grain yellow cornmeal
- 2 C whole wheat flour
- 1 3/4 C spelt flour
- 1 C old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking, nor steel-cut)
- 3/4 C sugar
- 1/4 C baking powder
- 4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Whisk all the ingredients in a large bowl, taking care that the baking powder is evenly distributed throughout. Spoon or pour the whole kit and caboodle into a large container and seal tightly. Store up to three months in a dark, cool pantry. (Who could keep this hanging around for three months? Please.)
To make three waffles:
- Scoop 1 Cup + 3 TBSP of the mix into a bowl. (Puff up your chest and say: "Take THAT Bisquik!")
- Whisk in 1 large egg, 1/2 C + 1 TBSP milk (whole, 2% or even fat-free - I used soy), 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 2 TBSP walnut oil (could also use hazelnut or pecan) or 2 1/2 TBSP melted and cooled unsalted butter.
- Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes while the waffle iron heats. Then make waffles per iron manufacturer's instructions.To make pancakes, thin with additional milk, 1/4 C or so.
Those pale waffles (above) were a fleeting thing. The waffle iron - which was a lovely surprise that made me SO happy, briefly - had an annoying habit of walking off its perch atop the fridge. Waffle irons are not meant to tumble. We'll be in search of a new waffle iron after the holidays...any recommendations? I want nice dark, crisp waffles.
Until then ... pancakes!