Butternut Squash Cornmeal Waffles
If you watched The Chew the other day when Jamie Oliver was on, then you'll know that it's no secret that I have a *bit* of a crush on him. But, hey, he's smart, cute, and talented — what's not to love? When Jamie was visiting, we made butternut squash baked with chicken, fragrant with lemongrass, garlic and ginger, which shares many of the same flavors as one of my own favorite recipes, Butternut Squash with Coconut Sauce.
Butternut squash has a rich flavor, toeing the line between sweet and savory, lending itself to both breakfast and dinner. It also happens to be packed with vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber, making it a great ingredient to hide into a breakfast treat (like that can of beans that went into my Secret Ingredient Breakfast Cake). For these waffles, I've added cornmeal for a little added texture and nutrition, along with a dash of ginger and cinnamon, then topped it all off with a drizzle of orange blossom honey to heighten the spicy warmth.
Consider making a double batch and freeze the rest for your own homemade toaster waffles later!
Makes 8 7-inch waffles
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar (maple sugar is nice if you have it)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cups milk (buttermilk or almond milk both work well also)
6 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
2 large eggs
3/4 cup cooked and puréed butternut squash
Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add the milk, oil, eggs and butternut squash. Mix together until blended, then allow to stand for five minutes. Preheat your waffle maker to your preferred setting (I like my waffles crisp and golden, so use a higher setting); when it's ready, pour a generous 1/2 cup into the center of the grid, then close the cover and cook until cooked through on both sides. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200° oven for a few minutes until ready to serve.
If you do want to make a double batch to freeze, just cook the waffles and let them cool off on a rack. Once cooled, set the waffles on a cookie sheet in a single layer and put in the freezer for abour two hours or until frozen. Then transfer the waffles to a freezer-safe ziptop bag and pop one in the toaster whenever you want a waffle!
• These waffles can easily be converted to a savory recipe for dinner, simply by omitting the sugar and spices. Add a touch more salt, some ground black pepper and a dash of chipotle powder. Top them off with barbecued pork or creamy curried chicken for a delicious weeknight meal.
• No butternut squash? No worries. Other types of winter squash, like acorn, kabocha, or even pumpkin, work just as well. If you can't find fresh, frozen winter squash actually works just fine.
• Roasting the squash adds another layer of flavor, but you can also steam it on the stove or in the microwave.