Phew! What a week!
I had a Very Important Meeting on Wednesday, which has taken me weeks to prepare for, on and off. Yesterday, it was The Small Small's second birthday, so there was a cake and family dinner involved. Then today, The Husband (who has been on nightshift and only surfaced yesterday for said family dinner) headed off to Hamburg for a stag weekend! Lucky bugger. ( I might also mention that we've recently had two bathrooms renovated and I've still to finish the painting, but I don't really want to think about that just now.)
So today I really tried to take it easy. For me, this is much easier said than done. If I'm not doing at least two things at once, I consider the time wasted. Not that anything I am doing is particularly vital in the grand scheme of things (whatever that might be). I see letting my boys watch TV as a cop-out, even though it often results in everyone being less grumpy with each other and the late afternoon passing much more pleasantly for all of us. Today, I indulged them and moseyed off to potter about in the kitchen.
Occasionally, I plan my kitchen experiments. Usually, however, they come about through the build up of unused ingredients and this was the case today. Earlier in the week, I'd roasted some sweet potatoes and a butternut squash. I'd also soaked and cooked a small bucket of chickpeas, some of which went into a batch of hummus while the other lot were left sitting in the fridge. Add to all that some leftover roast potatoes from last night's birthday meal, and there was plenty to play around with.
So, during Topsy & Tim and whatever other guff the boys were watching, I concocted the following: chickpea, spring onion and feta 'burgers', lightly spiced sweet potato waffles and homemade potato waffle-chips.
|Step 1: place leftover roasties on hot, oiled waffle iron and close machine.|
|Step 2: open machine and discover DIY potato waffles.|
The last creation requires no recipe, only the pre-roasted white potatoes and a waffle-maker brushed with oil. You can imagine the rest. The Big Small let me try one of his and it was pretty awesome: just a big, fat chip with a crunchy outside and a fluffy middle. He has asked that we have them every day. Ahem, no. Although I will admit it to be the best reincarnation of a roast potato that this thirty-something Scottish girl has found, and we get through a lot of potatoes over here!
The chickpea 'burgers' were a bit less successful. I tried them in the waffle-maker (have I mentioned that I treated myself to a Lidl special last week and have been firing anything and everything on that machine since?!) but they stuck like crazy. I have had previous failure with chickpea waffles, although last time I used chickpea flour and this time the real things. So after that, I fried little patties in a pan and they browned and crisped nicely. I quite enjoyed them but the boys didn't like the flavour, so they're maybe something to be tinkered with another day.
And that brings us to the third experiment: sweet potato waffles. There were so moreish! Subtly sweet - less sickly than a straight roasted version - but with a quality that makes them suit savoury dishes just as well as sweet ones. The spice is gentle and adds a warmth, but does not say 'curry', if you know what I mean.
I can see myself playing around with the flavours and I've got a feeling that they'll take a lot of different spices. Cinnamon and ginger would be great for a sweeter version (maybe with a little grated apple in there or some orange zest), while garlic and lemon could really zing up a savoury version.
Lightly-spiced sweet potato waffles (sweet or savoury)
(makes 8 little waffles)
what you'll need
3 small sweet potatoes, roasted and cooled (1 huge one or 2 mediums will work too)
2 medium eggs
2 TBSP wholewheat spelt flour (for such a small amount, try replacing with your flour of choice)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp garam masala
what you'll do
- turn on your waffle-maker to heat it up*. It's also a good idea to put your oven on low so you can keep the waffles warm while you are waiting to serve them.
- peel the potatoes and turn the flesh into a smallish bowl
- add the eggs and mash with a fork until quite smooth (you could use a food processor or stick blender but it's just something else to clean)
- add the other ingredients and mix well
- brush or spray the hot waffle plates with a good frying oil (e.g. rapeseed, coconut) to prevent sticking (following various 'incidents', I do this even though mine has non-stick plates)
- spoon the thick mixture onto the waffle plates. I use a couple of big teaspoonfuls for each one as I like the uneven edge that comes from not filling up the plates. Close the machine and let the waffles start to sizzle.
- Cook to your preference. I went for a little crispness on the outside of mine and they took about 5-7 minutes each.
These waffles really can pass for a sweet or savoury dish. I had mine with the salty, cheesy chickpea burgers and some green veg. In the morning, I plan to pop a couple in the toaster - or even back on the waffle iron if I can wait for it to heat up - and cover them with Greek yoghurt and sliced banana. Have a go and tell me what toppings you come up with.
*Every waffle recipe I've tried so far works well as pancakes too, so if you don't have a waffle iron then a frying pan will do. But really, you should treat yourself to a new gadget: everything looks better when waffle-ised, doncha think...?