Not Martha

Cornmeal Ham and Cheese Waffles

waffles with an over easy egg

The other week friends, new waffle makers, the concept of a waffle party and Twitter collided and resulted in a waffle brunch. The star of the gathering turned out to be cornmeal ham and cheese waffles which was a collaborative and mostly improvised effort. It was the best sort of effort. Ladies, high fives.

I went home and solidified my own recipe, and so did K over at Eat More Cake as did Tea from Tea and Cookies (she actually couldn’t make it that day but the power of the ham and cheese waffle was just too much to ignore). The Waffles of Insane Greatness recipe variation found at Orangette was a starting point, and K’s recipe results in a large batch. K also had the genius idea to swap oil for melted butter in the recipe and having made many batches I can tell you it is a must. Tea’s recipe involves a sourdough starter (if you have this let me just say to you: lucky!) and I’ve outright stolen her idea of including some course ground corn meal for polenta to add some crunch. (Also I happened to have just that thing in my house which never ever happens to me.)

a peek inside my waffle maker

My recipe below will make a small batch, just enough to fill my stovetop waffle maker twice and (if I don’t botch the first go) we have breakfast for two people and four waffles to freeze. People, I have decided I always want to have cornmeal ham and cheese waffles in my freezer as a potential toaster breakfast option.

Cornmeal Ham and Cheese Waffles

A collaboration by K, M, Q and M and eaten by me (Megan) that was originally based on the A Great Make-the-Morning-of Waffle from Orangette which is a variation on the Waffle of Insane Greatness. Whew.

This batter will make between 6 and 8 waffles (or two goes in my waffle maker). It’s very easy to mix by hand and doesn’t require that you pull out a Kitchenaid mixer. You do, however, need to let the batter rest for half a hour. This is just enough time to wash the measuring cups, set out plates and cook bacon so I call it a win.

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • optional: 1 tablespoon coarse ground polenta
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk*
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup grated cheese (I did a combination of parmesan and medium cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup thin sliced ham that has been diced

In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients. Add the milk and/or buttermilk*, melted butter and egg. (The cheese and ham will be added later on.) Whisk until everything is blended and all the lumps have gone away. Cover and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Wash the mixing cups, set the table, cook bacon or sausages and preheat your waffle iron to medium or medium high.

Add the grated cheese and ham to the waffle batter. Cook waffles until they are golden. If possible plop them onto a cooling rack right out of the waffle iron so they have a moment to crisp up.

* Since I find it wasteful to buy both whole milk and buttermilk that I’m unlikely to use up I have instead been using Joy the Baker’s buttermilk substitute and squeezing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into a measuring cup and adding whole milk to make for a total of one cup of liquid. Joy also offers options for yogurt and milk, and cream of tartar and milk so none of us have excuses for not making breakfast foods that require buttermilk.

· comments [21] · 06-1-2012 · categories:food ·

21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Liz J in Central Illinois // Jun 1, 2012 at 6:16 am

    I never buy buttermilk because once I use the small amout called for in a recipe, the rest would go to waste. So I have started using Saco Buttermilk Powder, and it is great. (I find it in the grocery store) You spoon the buttermilk powder into water to make your buttermilk in the amount you need for the recipe, and then store the can in the refrigerator. It keeps well, and for quite a while. Just thought I would pass this on to you.

    I also Googled buttermilk powder online, and found that King Arthur Flour has it also (their brand, not Saco). They have good quality products, so I bet it would be good to try.

    Just some thoughts.

  • 2 Joanna // Jun 1, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Buttermilk powder is the best! If you’re using it in baking you don’t even have to mix it with water first, you can just add the powder with your dry ingredients and then the water with your wet ingredients.

    Anyway, I happen to have just about 1/2 c. of actual buttermilk in my fridge right now, so I think I’m making waffles tomorrow!

  • 3 Bonney // Jun 1, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Holy cow!! These look delicious!!

  • 4 megan // Jun 1, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Buttermilk powder, I will try it. Thanks!

  • 5 Liz J in Central Illinois // Jun 1, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Joanna, I had not thought about mixing it in with the dry ingredients and adding the water to the liquid ingredients. You would definitely get a better mix that way. Thanks for the suggestion! I will try that next time!

  • 6 kate // Jun 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I got that same waffle iron at a garage sale a few years ago, and can’t seem to make a batch of waffles that doesn’t end up a charred mess. What’s the secret?

  • 7 Jane // Jun 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I have a Waring Pro waffle maker – it’s like the ones in the hotels – it was the best appliance purchase ever. Have never had a burned waffle, perfect every time. I look forward to trying this recipe – I also use buttermilk powder.

  • 8 just barrie // Jun 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    i love the idea of freezing them! i am definitely doing this. but what sort of toppings do you put on a savory waffle? when i think waffle i usually go sweet: strawberries, bananas, syrup, powdered sugar. but cheese and ham…do you just do eggs or did you try it with syrup or something else (would pesto be weird or some sort of fruit butter)?

  • 9 Liz // Jun 1, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    A nerdy fact is that the buttermilk you buy in the store is not true buttermilk. It’s a cultured product like yogurt or kefir. Powdered buttermilk is the only way to get the real stuff!
    But really, it’s great. You can add it to mashed potatoes, breads, etc. and it keeps for a long time in the fridge. I find it in the baking aisle at the grocery.

  • 10 Jen // Jun 1, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    I’m glad to see Joy confirm that I can substitute yogurt for buttermilk, which I’d wondered about and not seen anyone suggest. I pretty much always have yogurt on hand. I have a couple of times substituted straight yogurt for buttermilk with good results, but it’s good to keep in mind her milk-yogurt combo if I’m ever concerned with a batter needing to be more liquid.

    I’ve also had good success with clabbering soy milk with white vinegar or lemon juice when baking for a friend who can’t have milk. Vegan bakers already know that one.

  • 11 Jen // Jun 2, 2012 at 10:27 am

    For the price on that amazon link, I could get an electric waffle iron, but seeing as I wouldn’t make them much, I don’t want to pay that much (though I like that a stovetop one will be easier to store.) Either way, a search of websites of kitchenware stores we have in Toronto didn’t turn up any non-electric options. However, looking at the amazon suggestions again today, I spotted this one:

    http://www.campmor.com/gsi-outdoors-waffle-iron.shtml

    Smaller, but the camp gear aspect led me to search MEC (Canada’s answer to REI) and yes, they have it! It’s only makes 2 waffles at a time, but I think that’s okay for me.

  • 12 Louisa // Jun 3, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I had no dinner plan last night and saw this, so I made it right away! I was worried the batter would be too heavy and the waffles would fall apart but they were amazing! They honestly don’t need anything on them, they are insanely good all by themselves. This recipe made 4 waffles in my regular size waffle maker too, and they are so filling! Thanks for the recipe!

  • 13 megan // Jun 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    kate – I’m not sure, I spray mine with canola oil and let both sides heat up on burners (I have an electric stove) before using the batter. Maybe they were selling it because they’d overheated it previously? I like this one because our last one (a breathtakingly expensive model given to us as a wedding present) was really disappointing and I wanted something I could control the temperature of. Also I want to mostly make Liege waffles and this stovetop waffle iron is far easier to clean when I get molten sugar in all the little bits and pieces. That it’s easy to store is also important in our tiny kitchen.

  • 14 megan // Jun 3, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Jen – I said most of this in my link above but I bought the stovetop iron because I’ve been consistently disappointed by electric waffle irons. Additionally, I like to make Liege waffles and the stovetop model is far easier to clean molten sugar off of :D

  • 15 megan // Jun 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Barrie – These are very flavorful and really you don’t need anything else. To round out breakfast we’ve been topping them with an over-easy or poached egg though, it’s delicious that way.

  • 16 Pamela // Jun 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    At my local grocery stores, I can buy a small carton of buttermilk- about 8 0z– so you can make these waffles, then make this delicious cake from Smitten Kitchen http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/05/raspberry-buttermilk-cake/– no leftover buttermilk!

  • 17 Erin // Jun 6, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Will try these, I love waffles of insane greatness! During the 30 minute rest you can make bacon- in the waffle iron! http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/11/video-alton-browns-perfect-breakfast-tips-makes-bacon-in-a-waffle-iron.html

  • 18 Erin // Jun 6, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Sorry for the exclamation points. Oops.

  • 19 Balsamic Reductions // Jun 8, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Holy Cow these are amazing! I was making a care package for my brother and made these so he could have frozen waffles. I can’t believe how fantastic they are! Plus no separating eggs and whipping whites – double bonus. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • 20 I Love Waffles « madelinenel // Jun 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    [...] Cornmeal Ham and Cheese Waffles (notmartha.org) [...]

  • 21 Lisa // Nov 8, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Is that either milk or buttermilk or both?

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