Savory Waffles | Breakfast for Dinner.

savory waffle

I was only 9 years old the first time I ran away from home. I remember parts of the day very clearly. My sister, who is 3 years older than me, had two friends over to the house to play and, unfortunately for them, they were forced to include me in their more mature playtime activities. The agenda for that day was quite simple and really only included one activity, which was running away from home.

I cannot be sure from whom the idea first generated. Of course, when all was said and done, no one suspected I was the mastermind. I was so young. Despite this, I am pretty confident it was me. I had a keen sense of direction and an eye for mischief at that age. I also found safety in numbers as I was the youngest of 5 children who often found herself in the midst of pure chaos.
We were guided by our sense of adventure as we boarded a bus several blocks away from our house in the center of San Francisco. We had no idea of its final destination, but it made no difference to any of us. We just wanted to get away. From what? I have no idea.

When the bus arrived at its final destination, we found ourselves in Daly City. If you’re familiar with the Bay Area, Daly City is just a short jaunt south of San Francisco. It wasn’t too far away from home geographically, but it felt like Egypt to 4 young girls. In fact, it felt pretty bleak. It wasn’t exactly our dream destination. We all agreed on that.
There was some discussion as to where to travel next. We didn’t have a great deal of money and our bus transfers were time restricted. The decision was made to get back on the same bus and retreat in the opposite direction. It wasn’t that we wanted to go back home. Instead, we wanted to find a more appealing destination than Daly City. Perhaps something more exotic, but who can recall the motivation?
Somehow, we ended up in the Haight Ashbury as dusk was settling. At that point, we were half-starved and possibly a bit scared. Only one girl among us had any money. It wasn’t a lot of money, but it was enough to purchase 1 Big Mac at McDonalds. I remember the meal better than any other part of the day. It arrived in a cheerful yellow and orange styrofoam box. The girl who purchased the burger fashioned a knife out of a piece of the styrofoam which she used to cut the burger into 4 equal pieces.
The burger was delicious, a joy to my hungry and underdeveloped 9 year old taste buds. However, it wasn’t nearly enough food. Not for any of us. We were still hungry. And it was really this fact that led us to call our parents from the phone booth outside of McDonald’s that evening.
A world of hurt and punishment awaited us at home. The other mothers lectured us for what seemed like forever about the danger of our activities. They made some good points, but even my mother found them annoying. I pretty much kept my head down during the verbal beating feeling only a deep sense of relief.
savory waffle

I was home.
The adventure ended and home was certainly better than Haight Street. (This sentiment would change once I turned 15, but that’s another story).
I remember we ate pancakes for dinner that night. It was a rare occurrence to have breakfast for dinner in our home, but a fabulous one. Looking back on it, I suppose my mother was awash with worry during the hours prior to that phone call leaving no time to prepare our regular meat and potatoes. Either way, it felt like a lovely change and just adventurous enough for a 9 year old girl.
I still enjoy a hearty breakfast for dinner every now and then. It’s a rare treat that is generally the result of a craving or a lack of groceries. Either way, it’s always delicious. This week, I bring you a savory waffle. Ever tried one? If not, you should. The key ingredient in this waffle is cornmeal. In fact, it’s really a quick shortcut around making cornmeal bread or muffins. It’s a great substitute. Top it off with homemade chili, fresh cilantro, and cheese. You will not regret it.
Try it and let me know what you think!
Savory Cornmeal Waffle & White Bean Chicken Chili
2 tablespoons sharp white cheddar cheese (optional)
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup wheat germ
3 large eggs
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil plus additional oil for brushing waffle iron
Into a large bowl sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Repeat sifting 2 more times and stir in wheat germ.
In another large bowl whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and oil. Add flour mixture all at once and whisk just until combined.
Preheat a waffle iron and preheat oven to 200 °F.
Brush waffle iron lightly with additional oil. Spoon batter into waffle iron, using 1/4 cup batter for each 4-inch-square standard waffle and spreading batter evenly, and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer waffle to a baking sheet and keep warm, uncovered, in middle of oven. Make more waffles with remaining batter in same manner, brushing waffle iron with mire oil before adding each batch.
Serve waffles topped with hot chili.
Adapted from Gourmet.
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  • June 22, 2010 - | Permalink

    fantastic post. love your stories. i'm very familiary w daly city so i imagine the world of difference from sf and even haight. should i admit that i've never made a waffle? ; )LOVE the new look!!!

  • June 22, 2010 - | Permalink

    Those Tex-Mex waffles are fantastic! What a great idea. Yummy!



  • June 22, 2010 - | Permalink

    I can totally believe that you were a mastermind mischief causer at that age — I know I was! lol :)
    Great story, these pictures are making me hungry! thanks for sharing!


  • June 22, 2010 - | Permalink

    Cute story, Robin! I always mean to tell you that you are one of the best writers I visit in the blogosphere.
    I remember running away too, but it just involved me hiding out near the creek in our neighborhood. I think this happened due me, ahem, walking in on my parents (smile). In complete and utter disgust, I quickly decided I never wanted to see them again-hilarious! You guys were much more brave and creative than me for sure.
    I love breakfast for dinner by the way. And your waffle look perfect!

  • June 22, 2010 - | Permalink

    i love how you served the chili on a cornmeal waffle. i made the chili recipe awhile ago and loved it.

  • June 22, 2010 - | Permalink

    I have never made a savory waffle and have no idea why! Looks delicious. What a charming story.

  • June 22, 2010 - | Permalink

    What a dull child I was! Indeed, a pseudo-dull adult. I've been working for years on NOT being neurotic about being spontaneous in that way. I'm getting better at it.

    I also LOVE the idea of a cornmeal waffle, with chili no less. Which reminds me that I haven't made any kind of chili in awhile and I need to remedy that (though it has been so hot, lately).

  • June 22, 2010 - | Permalink

    That is quite the adventure…I thought of running away a few times, but being an only child it made life harder for these sorts of ideas! Doing alot of breakfast for dinner lately…this looks really yumo!

  • June 22, 2010 - | Permalink

    Another great story – something I treasure on this blog.

    The recipe, again, is beautiful. I'm still thinking of your 'taco forever' post, too!

  • MyPDXKitchen
    June 22, 2010 - | Permalink

    I would never think to try chili on waffles. But try I shall!

  • June 22, 2010 - | Permalink

    That's quite a story. I've never thought of savoy waffles but they look good. I'll bet they were especially good after your "adventure"

  • June 22, 2010 - | Permalink

    I've heard of savory waffles such as Fried Chicken and Waffles, which people go crazy over.

    I had to laugh at your adventure, because of did stuff like that when I was younger multiple times. And much to my parents dismay, it only emboldened me to explore even farther strange lands.

  • June 22, 2010 - | Permalink

    this looks delicious! its something i would never think up on my own, but my mouth is now watering!

  • June 22, 2010 - | Permalink

    I adore breakfast for dinner. I also love seeing the look on my dinner guests faces when I bust out the frittata for dinner!

  • June 23, 2010 - | Permalink

    We all love breakfast for dinner and you've given us a wonderful recipe to help make it happen. I loved your story and will be back for more. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  • June 23, 2010 - | Permalink

    Everytime i mention a savory waffle to hubby he cringes. he is so stuck on the old maple syrup thing. I will have to make this soon to prove him wrong.

  • June 23, 2010 - | Permalink

    Hi. Just discovered your blog. I enjoyed reading about your childhood adventure.

  • June 23, 2010 - | Permalink

    I got a great find here, a very nice story of childhood and a scrumptious recipe. I don't need to take a bus :)

  • June 23, 2010 - | Permalink

    This is such an innovative idea! I love it. Can't wait to try it.

  • June 23, 2010 - | Permalink

    Again,I love your post as much as I love your recipe…what a sweet story of exciting adventures !

  • June 23, 2010 - | Permalink

    What a brilliant idea! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! A perfect way to get just the right amount of cornbread with every bite. Consider yourself bookmarked, missy!

  • June 24, 2010 - | Permalink

    Yes, a wordsmith, you are! You have such a great ability for storytelling, and it makes me feel like I've known you for years…and your recipes are great too! (I also really like your redesign!). Iknow, a lovefest from rcakewalk…but I can't help it :)

  • June 24, 2010 - | Permalink

    I never tried to run away when I was little but probably because of the wrath that I knew would ensue once I was forced to go home. I love how you guys planned the whole thing out…it wasn't some spree that was precipitated by some traumatic event.

    I adore breakfast for dinner. It's always such a treat. These savory waffles take it to a whole new level.

  • June 24, 2010 - | Permalink

    It has just never occurred to me to make a savory waffle- my mind is blown! I can't wait to make these…

  • June 25, 2010 - | Permalink

    What a precocious kid you were! The farthest I ever ran away was down the street!

    Waffles look great & I'm glad to see your appetite is back. :)

  • June 27, 2010 - | Permalink

    I remember running away once, but didn't make it past my backyard. I love the idea of waffles for dinner though, and will try this soon.

  • June 28, 2010 - | Permalink

    Savoury waffles for dinner?! What a great idea! :D

  • August 9, 2010 - | Permalink

    We usually will eat breakfast food for dinner but I have never considered using the waffle as the basis for dinner food. Great idea! Thanks for sharing. Cheers!

  • Pingback: Eating Breakfast for Dinner | Food & Think

  • Kelly
    March 1, 2012 - | Permalink

    Why wheat germ? Is that what’s removed from whole wheat flour to make white flour? Could you just use less white flour and some whole wheat flour? Or some other substitution?

    • redmenace
      March 1, 2012 - | Permalink

      Hi Kelly,
      Thanks for your question. I don’t really know the full answer. Wheat germ is part of the wheat kernel, but not sure if it’s the item removed to make white flour. Probably not. It’s really delicious and quite easy to find at any supermarket. It gives foods sort of a wheaty bite. Earthy a bit? I love it! That said, you can certainly try your hand out at substituting the wheat flour. I’m sure it would still taste good :)

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