I just started reading a book called The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner. The whole point of the book- at the current moment anyway- seems to be that we (women especially) need to be better at "letting go."
Of course, we all know that the actual letting go is super hard.
For instance, I felt intuitively that I should let go of the idea of a sausage-waffle. My first two trials of this recipe were disasters and I started to think that I should leave well enough alone. I mean, a fresh, crispy waffle is perfect in and of itself. Add to that the fact that I have three jobs right now and you'd think that I wouldn't really have much time for waffle experimentation.
But the specter of the perfect sausage-waffle haunted me. Everyone knows that the best bite on your breakfast plate is the one where you get a little bit of salty pork, a little bit of waffle, and some maple syrup. That's why IHOP has pancake wrapped sausage links on the menu, and chicken and waffles are a thing, and pigs in blankets are always the stars of the party. Let's face it, salty meats, maple syrup, and dough are a match made in heaven.
So I ended up (re)making sausage-waffles at 6pm on a Tuesday, when no one wanted breakfast for dinner. Because I had to get the recipe perfect and I had to have a post for this poor neglected blog. The whole thing was bordering on the ridiculous, and Ryan was cursing me for dragging him out of the house t-shirtless to help me photograph the damn things. Fortunately, this batch was everything I had imagined they could be: crispy, salty-sweet, and flecked with sausage. Even Ryan was convinced, once he got past his momentary annoyance.
You should make these waffles. For one thing, the waffle recipe itself is amazing; you could definitely make them without the sausage. But also, the sausage addition is fun and different and oh so delicious. Just, do me a favor- do everyone a favor, actually- and don't go out and buy Jimmy Dean or any other crappy faux sausages. I don't want to guilt you by telling you what's actually in them, how they're made, or how the poor animals were treated. So, just buy something decent, a nice breakfast sausage from a butcher or a rancher at the farmer's market.
Another note, I used beautiful, locally milled flour from Pasadena miller Grist & Toll. If you can't find locally milled flour, don't fret, I think whole wheat pastry flour will work wonderfully.
Makes 2-3 big waffles, depending on your waffle iron.
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/3 cup neutral oil, like grapeseed or canola
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup corn starch (you could use potato starch instead, I did)
- 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry four (I used Grist & Toll Hard Wheat Cake & Pastry Flour)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3/4 lb fresh, loose breakfast, country style, or maple sausage
- Brown the sausage in a large pan, breaking it up into small pieces as it goes. Cook it just until it's done, as it will cook again in the waffle. Pour the sausage out of the pan and into a fine strainer to let it drain while it cools.
- Whisk the egg yolks, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla in a big bowl.
- Whisk together the cornstarch, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- Add the dry to the wet and whisk until well combined, 20-30 strokes.
- Get your waffle iron heating up.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or by hand if you're strong), whisk the egg whites until they reach stiff peaks.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the waffle batter. Then gently fold in the sausage.
- Cook according to your waffle maker instructions. When done, top with butter and maple syrup.