Yesterday was one of those days. Sunday. A day to relax. Scott and I were planning to spend time in the backyard, doing a little yard work, catching up on our reading, snoozing and generally loafing around. Of course the weatherman had other ideas. Dark clouds loomed and within 10 minutes of my first sip of coffee, we had our first of several brief-but-intense downpours. It put a general gloom on the day. Don’t-cha just hate that?
Scott gets particularly antsy when the weather doesn’t conform to his wants. I think it goes back to his Minnesota roots. He’s an avid golfer and when I met him, he was playing 4-5 rounds of golf per week during the season in Minnesota. He recalls that when it rained during the summertime — especially on a weekend, he felt gypped. Because they only had “so many” good days until winter began again, and he and his golfing buddies wanted to enjoy every possible moment on the course.
Even now, he carries that same feeling of “being cheated” when the weather doesn’t cooperate — despite the fact that he lives in Florida and our “sunny outdoor season” is pretty much year round.
Why do I go on about this? Well, yesterday morning, I was determined to lighten our distinctly dampened mood. With breakfast. Waffles. I’ve been thinking about doing a savory waffle for a while and this seemed like the perfect time to act. Dorie Greenspan has dedicated an entire book to this crispy-tender treat and I decided to do a rif on one of hers. I turned on some music and started measuring. Emily had the task of shredding the cheese and dicing the ham, while Scott supervised a pan of sausage patties. (I know, there was ham in the waffles and we didn’t need sausage, but you wouldn’t believe the smiles on everyone’s face).
In less time than it would take to wait for a table at Denny’s, we were sitting down to a platter of these sweet-savory cornmeal waffles, studded with ham and salty manchego cheese. Accompanied by a pat of butter and some warmed maple syrup this breakfast was the perfect remedy to the dreary weather outside. That — and the fact that the last round of The Masters Tournament was on.
Ham and Manchego Waffles
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups buttermilk well shaken
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup shredded manchego cheese
- 1 cup finely diced smoked ham not deli meat
In a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
In a smaller bowl add buttermilk, eggs and maple syrup. Whisk thoroughly to combine.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.
Stir in melted butter.
Add ham and cheese, stirring to combine.
To make the waffles, preheat the waffle iron. Lightly coat with vegetable spray if necessary.
Scoop batter onto the center of the waffle iron. Close the lid and bake until browned and crisp.
Serve waffles immediately or place them in a single layer on a rack in a 200 degree oven while you continue to make the rest of the waffles.
Serve with butter and maple syrup.