How to Make Waffles

Hang on, are those chicken livers? Maple-glazed chicken livers, yes. I chose to present waffles this way to underscore the point that — in the immortal words of Ms. Jane Russell — they’re not just for breakfast anymore. Waffles work in a whole range of contexts, just ask any southerner. From fried chicken to turkey hash to sautéed vegetables, folks in the South will put just about anything on a waffle. And I heartily approve.

Making waffles is a very simple wet team/dry team affair, regardless of the style you’re making. True, some people like to employ whipped egg whites, though I find many of those preparations on the dry side. Start by putting all your dry ingredients in one bowl…

…and your wet ingredients in another bowl or vessel.

Whisk both mixtures to combine…

…then add one to the other.

Whisk lightly until the mixture is mostly homogenous, though some lumps are OK, even preferred (just as with pancakes, you don’t want to overwork the batter).

Let the batter rest while you heat up your waffle iron (unless you’re making sourdough waffles, in which case you want to start using it right away). Depending on how well-used your iron is, you may need to apply a little cooking spray to it (both top and bottom). This one is an old-school model, you can tell by the small gauge of the squares (almost all waffle irons sold today are built for big Belgian waffles). It has about fifty years of seasoning on its cooking surface, and I consider it a treasure.

Depending on the make and model, you want to apply anywhere from half a cup to one and a half cups of batter to the center.

Close the top and cook for 4-6 minutes, or until the waffle is a delectable golden brown. Eat immediately. If you’re making a large batch, you can keep them on the rack of an oven set to 200. Even so, the quicker these lovely golden cakes are consumed, the better.

Oh, and for those of you out there who might be interested in maple-glazing your chicken livers, achieve that by applying a tablespoon of oil to a sautée pan set over high heat. Toss the livers for about two minutes, until the outsides are well-browned but the insides still pink. Transfer the livers onto a plate and turn the heat down to medium-high. Add a little more oil to the pan, plus one thin-sliced shallot. After about a minute, deglaze the pan with a tablespoon or two of white wine vinegar and cook until it has almost completely evaporated. Add half a cup of a sweet dessert white wine like a Sauternes, muscat or late harvest Riesling, plus 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup. Reduce the sauce until thick and return the livers to the pan. Toss, arrange on fresh waffles and serve immediately with an off-dry white wine.

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