We all got at least one waffle iron as a wedding present. But most of us never use it. So I’ve decided – since some dear readers also probably got one for Christmas – I’ll suggest a few alternative uses for your long-neglected waffle iron…
A Leftover Stuffing Waffle: Countless yummy uses!
Get ready for a fun ride!
No, I’m not going to suggest you use it to flash-dry your socks after a run-in with a deep winter puddle. I’m suggesting only culinary applications – some you’ll consider crazy, others you’ll hail as genius.
Why you don’t use it
Most folks accept a waffle iron as a gift with enthusiasm. They think of the great waffles and waffle recipes they can make. But they trip over the prep process. I have more folks asking me how to make proper waffle batter than I ever have asking the same about pancakes.
And there’s the problem of sticking. That’s been solved by the rise of non-stick coking surfaces. But there’s always the cleaning-up afterwards. And many folks seem somehow offended that they have to carefully remove baked-in drips and blobs of batter bit by bit. Rather than just tossing the thing in the dish washer. Waffle irons of advanced design (and higher price) come with detachable irons you can do that with. But most of the ‘gift’ grade ones out there have fixed irons. And they electric, so…
Anyway. There’s no need to hide your waffle iron in the back of the cupboard and try to forget it. Read on, and discover why!
Open your mind to the potential!
One of my fave post-Festive Feast leftover dishes is Stuffing Waffles. You make them by placing leftover stuffing in a thin layer on a baking tray in a thin layer. As if you were toasting croutons. Bake in the oven on low for 15 minutes or so, so that excess moisture is evaporated. But you have to leave a little. This is important. Then spread a nice layer of the desiccated dressing on the waffle iron and let cook for a minute or so. The result is a great start for an open-faced leftovers sandwich or an egg-topped breakfast, or… Use your imagination!
Waffle Grilled Cheese
Yes! Make it special by toasting it in the waffle iron! The result is a compact, yet accommodating sammy. Fill the holes with whatever toppings and condiments you like. Give the lids the Ketchup squeeze bottle. They’ll think it’s a game!
Waffle Iron Toad in the Hole
I’m talking North American TITH, not British. To make it look ‘official’, use a 3 in. / 7.5 cm cookie cutter to remove a circle from the centre of a slice of the bread of your choice. Butter both sides of the bread. Place it on the waffle iron and crack an egg into the hole. Lower the lid and let it go for a minute or so – until the egg is set but not burned. (Keep an eye on it!) A sprinkle of salt and pepper will not be out of place, after removing the TITH from the iron, just before serving. You pretty much have to use a non-stick iron with this one…
Place slices of fairly-thin-sliced potato, that you’ve dried on paper towels, on a lightly-greased waffle iron. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes, until the steam stops coming out. You should get crispy, crinkly, fun fries. Suitable as a ‘Fries’ side or for dipping in any sort of sauce.
Waffle Brownies, Churros, Snack Cakes – Yorkshire Puddings!
This one requires a grasp of the technique and associated manual skills. You’ll acquire these through practice. Any baked item that starts with a thick batter can be quick-toasted on a waffle iron. As a bonus, you get nice, consistent, single serving portions. Go ahead and experiment!
Did that tickle your imagintion?
I hope so! And don’t forget, many of the above suggestions can become participatory activities, both for the family and at parties.
And actually enjoy your waffle iron!
~ Maggie J.