Every cook should have a list of truly reliable recipes. These should be recipes that you know will turn out well consistently. They should make your family and friends happy. They should taste very, very good. Ideally, a few of these should be simple and straightforward: Dishes you can put together with pantry staples and without much time or fuss or mess.
For me, these sour cream cornmeal waffles fit the bill. Not only are they ridiculously quick and easy to whisk together (one bowl! no resting time!), they're delicious and satisfying. Sweet but not too sweet, you could just as easily serve them for dessert with ice cream as you could for breakfast on a lazy weekend morning. You could even leave out some of the sugar, add some herbs or spices, and make them savory as a base for roast chicken, or use its pieces as bread in a turkey sandwich.
What makes this particular recipe so good? First of all, it's wonderfully delicate and light. The waffles freeze beautifully, so you can keep a batch on hand and toast one (or two or three) as you want. The sour cream gives the batter a little tang and more flavor than most waffles. Cornmeal adds some texture. (You don't need to use cornmeal, but I like the slight crunch and texture it gives to the waffles. I prefer to use a more finely ground cornmeal, but a coarser one would work, just know that it'll give you more "grit.") For more complexity of flavor, I sweeten the waffles with half granulated sugar and half malted milk powder. Malted milk powder gives pancakes and waffles a distinctive sweetness that is reminiscent of diner-style pancakes. If you can't find it, use all sugar.
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal (not coarse)
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon malted milk powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda