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.)
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.