Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.
Today: The versatile waffle for the morning after Thanksgiving -- and, really, for all other mornings.
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These waffles are the answer to the question: “What can I eat for breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving that also uses up leftover sweet potatoes?” This is very likely a question you’ve never asked, because the answer to “What can I eat for breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving” is: Pie. And the answer to using up leftover sweet potatoes is: Reheat and eat them, silly, they reheat quite nicely.
But in case you did ask that question, these are the answer. And they can be the answer to other questions too. Like, “How can I make waffles even more delicious?” Or, “What can I serve at brunch for a group of mixed savory and sweet breakfast-oriented people if I don’t feel like both baking a coffee cake and a quiche?” See? Lots of questions!
Sweet potato waffles (or pumpkin, or butternut squash -- they’ll all work) are definitely nothing new, but I’ve found that they are almost invariably saddled with pumpkin pie spices. It’s like a knee-jerk reaction -- orange waffles? Must add pie spices. And that’s all well and tasty, but sometimes I want to let my pumpkin pie taste like pumpkin pie and leave my waffles alone. Especially because sweet potatoes themselves are so versatile in the other foods they pair with. They’re as delicious (maybe more delicious) with bacon, chutney, or avocados as they are with marshmallows, brown sugar, or pecans.
So, these waffles I made with only orange zest and a little ginger as spices. The sweet potato flavor really shines through. They are fabulous with just butter, and truly phenomenal with maple syrup. But they’ll also take to any number of toppings you might throw at them. I like mine with avocado and egg, but you could also try them with chorizo and spinach, fried chicken, turkey and cranberry sauce, smoked salmon and crème fraiche, tahini yogurt sauce, fruit compote, honey and cinnamon, brown butter ice cream...I need to stop now and go eat a waffle.
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.