I am kind of a condiment freak. Before I reeled myself in, my refrigerator was frequently at least half comprised of space-consuming glass jars of miscellaneous things I couldn’t live without. Staples like ketchup and barbecue sauce, and oddities like fermented date chutney and cortido all vied for my attention when I opened the door. […]
I am kind of a condiment freak. Before I reeled myself in, my refrigerator was frequently at least half comprised of space-consuming glass jars of miscellaneous things I couldn’t live without. Staples like ketchup and barbecue sauce, and oddities like fermented date chutney and cortido all vied for my attention when I opened the door. After awhile, I felt overwhelmed with not only the clutter but the odd flavors that I began to resent.
Part of my problem with my “condiment collection” is that I enjoy making them maybe just a tiny bit more than I like eating them up. I will be obsessed for a week or two with the new kid on the block, but then I’ll make something new and leave him neglected, replaced, and a lonely, sad waste of space. Towards the end of last year, I did some deep refrigerator cleaning and gave a number of of once beloved condiments to a ferment-loving friend. Since the deep cleanse, I am more judicious about eating something in its entirety before making more.
After reading Sandor Katz’s book Wild Fermentation in 2010, I felt empowered to ferment everything. Enchilada sauce, mustard, you name it and I wanted to see how it tasted lightly soured and nutritionally superior. With just a quick inoculation of whey (the kind from lactobacillus laden yogurt), nearly anything could become more healthful and long-suffering in the waiting-around -my-fridge-department. If you are curious about lacto-fermentation, you can read a little more about my obsession with it here and on Sandor’s site, because I really need to move on now and tell you about delicious mustard waffles.
Last year, I made a fermented kombucha mustard. I love mustards of all types, and decided on making what turned out to be a huge amount of yellow mustard. I thickened it with flour, which was a mistake. While the flavor of the mustard was great, I couldn’t quite shake the mouthfeel of raw flour, even if it was just spread on a sandwich. Since it was on the thick side, I thinned it out with more kombucha, packed it into pint jars, and saved it. Because that’s exactly what we pack-rat condiment hoarders do: we save.
I couldn’t be happier that I did save that mustard in the dark depths of the icebox. It turned out that if I add it to something cooked or baked, the flavor of the mustard comes through and the pesky flour taste diminishes. And today when I finally tried a savory waffle recipe that was smack dab in the center of Dorie Greenspan’s (now out of print) Waffles from Morning to Midnight book, I was more than pleasantly surprised. This sugar-free waffle has a considerable amount of mustard in it, and I have been meaning to make it since I was lucky enough to find my copy in a thrift shop.
I only use this french fry cutter for making egg salad.
I only use this french fry cutter for making egg salad.
Seeing as we are in the dead of winter, I adapted the recipe to use dried dill instead of green and growing chives and parsley. You might think it’s strange to have egg salad on top of a waffle, but let me tell you if you serve this for a midday meal, you will receive high marks. Dorie notes that she likes the egg salad chunky for this recipe, but this texture is normally how I make egg salad. You can really make whatever egg salad you like, just be sure you have it made before starting the waffles since they are best right off of the griddle. (I made my egg salad with 4 eggs, some capers, dried dill, minced green pepper, mayo, salt, pepper and aleppo pepper.)
Mustard Waffles (with Chunky Egg Salad) (adapted from Dorie Greenspan)
my yield for a half batch was 4-5 4 inch square waffles
- 1 c. all purpose flour
- 1 ½ t. baking powder
- ¼ t. baking soda
- ½ t. salt
- ¼ t. black pepper, freshly ground (more to taste)
- 1-2 t. dried dill
- 1 ½ c. buttermilk or thin yogurt
- 1 egg (or 2 for extra-custardy waffles)
- ⅓ c. mustard (use Dijon if not homemade)
- 3 T. butter, melted
Preheat waffle iron. (You can preheat your oven to 200 to hold the finished waffles until you are done making them all if you like.)
In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, and dried dill.
In a large measuring cup, mix buttermilk, egg(s) and mustard. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined. Stir in melted butter.
Lightly butter (oil or spray will also work) the waffle grids if needed. Bake in the waffle iron as you do with waffles, until done and golden brown.
Appropriate for a condiment junkie, I also made the mayonnaise for my egg salad. I did this yesterday before bed, and let it ferment overnight. I have made fermented mayo twice before, and this recipe is my favorite one so far. If you are interested in making mayo yourself, you can read up on natural foods diets enough to convince you that good, pastured eggs are safe in their raw state. I know my egg farmer, and do not have a compromised immune system, so I have decided that raw egg mayonnaise is just fine for me. Please do not take my recommendations as any health advisory, and exercise common sense when approaching any home-fermentation project.
But, the good mayo (and even the egg salad itself) is secondary to these waffles I’m afraid. The mustard waffle manages to be crunchy in the center of the grids, and custard-like – positively fluffy in fact – where the grids intersect. It is a beautiful curry yellow and does taste of mustard, but in a calm, warm way and not one that is spicy or overpowering. I suspect I could easily eat a stack of them with nothing more than a little butter. Because I made these luxury waffles for just myself today, so I cut all the ingredients easily in half. I’m betting they were extra custardy because I used a whole egg for half the amounts of all the other ingredients. Adding an extra egg is not a bad idea, and I have noted this for the future in my copy of Dorie’s cookbook.
I somehow just knew I was saving that mustard for a reason, and now I’ve got another company-worthy lunch up my sleeve. It’s good to be armed with such recipes, as it is to be well stocked with an array of homemade condiments. Provided they don’t start taking over your life, that is.