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Waff are you waiting for?

Savoury cheese and spinach waffles with bacon and eggs

From Unna Burch – aka The Forest Cantina

I want to introduce you to waffles, the savoury kind. If you don’t know this version of the usually sweet waffle, save judgment until you really know them, cos’ they are delicious!

I see them as a better form of toast, ready to take on your toppings, or to be eaten on their own. The cheese makes them extra crispy while the inside stays nice and soft and the spinach gives a good balance – which means you can take that extra slice of bacon on the side. I topped mine with a soft poached egg because when the yolk was broken it gave a similar runny textural vibe to maple syrup.

Such a good recipe for a slow weekend morning, or lazy afternoon.

INGREDIENTS

Makes 4–5 waffles depending on the size of your waffle iron 
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fair trade sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
4 cups spinach, chopped
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg
1/3 cup oil (I used canola) 
cooking oil spray for cooking

To top
poached eggs
bacon
or toppings of your choice

METHOD

Heat waffle iron while you make the batter. In a large bowl mix the flours, baking powder, sugar, salt and pepper. Toss through the cheddar, parmesan cheese and spinach, and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk, egg and oil. Whisk well before incorporating the wet ingredients with the dry.  Do not over-mix or the waffles will be tough. 

Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray top and bottom (you need to do this again for each waffle), and add enough batter to almost reach the edges. The waffles will spread a little but won’t puff much. Cook for 4–5 minutes or until crispy on the top and bottom.

When I took them out, mine separated at one end a little. I took a sharp paring knife and lifted the waffle from the top and bottom of the iron, and then they came out perfectly. They will stick a little more than usual because of the cheese. 

Repeat until all the waffles are made.

SERVE

Top the waffles with bacon and eggs, or whatever takes your fancy.

You could go for coffee, tea, or an OJ, but we think this hearty, any-time-of-day dish should be served with a mean brew, so we asked Dean from Mean Doses to suggest a beer match.

‘This is easy. Mean Red IPA is the perfect match for these savoury waffles.’ says Dean. ‘Mean Red’s caramel maltiness would meld seamlessly with the base waffle mix, bringing out the sweetness of the cheeses (and the saltiness of the bacon if you were that way inclined, which I am). The hops add a firm bitterness with some mango and mandarin to contrast with the spinachy mineral goodness. Damn. My mouth is watering as I write this.’

Mean Red IPA is a seasonal release from Mean Doses, available from the fillery on Tory Street, Wellington, and at selected bars through September and October.

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