When I go to diners I love to see what people are eating. Curious to see if they are like me: do they love their bacon or sausage dripping in maple syrup? Do they love cheesy grits with maple syrup? Do they have to take a bite of pancake with a bite of maple dripping bacon? And you know its great when I see there are others out there like me who think of breakfast as the absolute best time for the ultimate creations in sweet with savory. Sure desserts are another way of indulging in the whole sweet and savory family, but I truly think breakfast takes the crown. So many variations, creations can come of sweet and savory for breakfast and brunch.
To share a secret passion of mine: I have wanted for some time now to do a little bit of research on when and where or even who started the whole sweet & savory thing. I mean possibly it might not be just one person, could be a country or culture that had it in it's existence and it gradually made it over here to the US. It would be fascinating to see and learn--don't you think? As a kid I don't remember the whole sweet and savory thing being too popular, but I really wasn't reading cookbooks as a child, just watching Julia Child and Sesame Street. Julia did have one episode of cheese stuffed crepes with some sort of jam or cherry reduction. I remember this because she flambéed it. Best part.
What's your favorite "diner special"? And what's the best diner you've ever been to?
Mine would be corned beef hash, poached eggs, bacon all smothered in a perfect hollandaise sauce. Best diner? Man, that's hard a lot of good ones in NYC and New Jersey.
Crispy buttermilk-cheddar waffles w/ kielbasa-maple syrup
Use your favorite waffle or buttermilk waffle recipe (that would serve 2-4 people)
Add to the batter ½ - ¾ cup of mild cheddar cheese, shredded
Cook as normal.
For the kielbasa-maple syrup:
Chopped kielbasa, small chunks (about ¾ - 1 cup)
1 cup or more of maple syrup
Fry up the kielbasa until nice and crispy. Degrease a little of the oil out of pan, then pour in the maple syrup, turn heat to low, and let heat up until waffles are done. Don't let it boil! Just warmed through. When waffles are done pour the hot kielbasa syrup over them.
If you don’t have a waffle recipe here is one from Cook's Illustrated:
Makes about eight 7-inch round waffles.
While the waffles can be eaten as soon as they are removed from the waffle iron, they will have a crispier exterior if rested in a warm oven for 10 minutes. (This method also makes it possible to serve everyone at the same time.) Buttermilk powder is available in most supermarkets and is generally located near the dried-milk products or in the baking aisle. Leftover buttermilk powder, which can be used in a number of baking applications, can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a year. Seltzer or club soda gives these waffles a light texture that would otherwise be provided by whipped egg whites. (Avoid sparkling water such as Perrier—it’s not bubbly enough.) Use a freshly opened container for maximum lift. Serve waffles with butter and warmed maple syrup.
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup dried buttermilk powder (see note)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups unflavored seltzer water
1.1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and place baking sheet in oven. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, buttermilk powder, and baking soda in large bowl to combine. Whisk sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and oil in medium bowl to combine. Gently stir seltzer into wet ingredients. Make well in center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir until just combined. Batter should remain slightly lumpy with streaks of flour.
2.2. Heat waffle iron and bake waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions (use about 1/3 cup for 7-inch round iron). Transfer waffles to rack in warm oven and hold for up to 10 minutes before serving with butter and maple syrup.
For Crispier Texture, Ban the Butter
For crispier results, we swapped the melted butter in our batter for oil. Unlike butter, oil contributes no moisture to the waffle. The exterior of the waffle can thus reach a higher temperature faster, giving the crust more time to form. Plus, oil helps keep the waffle cripe after it comes off the heat: As pure as fat, it is better able to repel water, keeping interior moisture from migrating to the waffle's dry, browned surface and turning it limp.