Dave and I love to go out for breakfast. It’s not that we don’t like to cook breakfast at home; we do. In fact, I cook breakfast many mornings.
Once or twice a week, there are even breakfast sandwiches for Dave that MUST include sausage. At least once a month, my husband will stir up a frittata–the last one was from leftover liver, onions, and sautéed vegetables from dinner at Marigold Cafe and Bakery. Who knew? (Waste not, want not.)
Here’s a favorite — a blog riff on the basic apple cinnamon pancakes I made for the family all those years.
TIPS FOR MY FAM’S BASIC APPLE-CINNAMON PANCAKES: Make your own pancake batter (scratch or box), but add a little cinnamon. Pour the batter onto the hot griddle as per usual and then spoon a tablespoon or two of grated apple evenly over each pancake. Turn when ready and cook just like every other pancake you ever made. You can do this with finely chopped cranberries and grated orange rind, too, at Thanksgiving and Christmas. You’re welcome, but do cook these sweet babies in butter, please.
But back to the part about eating breakfast out…I’m having to think about why it’s a special thing. Perhaps because it’s decadent; it means you really have nothing else to do but go to breakfast. It must be the weekend, right? You can forget about the yard work, work-work, life’s problems, and…oh, you can get your breakfast just exactly how you want it. Over the years, I’ve discovered that’s incredibly important to people. Just try working as a short order cook or morning server and see.
Recognize anything here?
I eat oatmeal every single morning.”
“Peanut butter whole wheat toast for me. No honey.”
“I like my eggs over easy, but runny.”
” More coffee, please, and make it hot this time? I can’t operate without my coffee.”
“Extra crispy bacon!
There’s one thing about restaurant breakfasts lately: biscuits and gravy are always on the menu. I wouldn’t order them on a dime, but Dave does occasionally. Why, I’ll never know. His dad makes the best sausage gravy in the world and Dave now does, too– hands down– and so he’s always disappointed with restaurant fare. (All gravy, humongo doughy biscuits and so little sausage per usual.)
When chile (CHEE-lay) season arrived this year, I kept thinking about what I’d do with our local green gold as the argument for who has the best chiles has really heated up.
(Punny, punny) In case you live in Vermont, the hoopla is based on whether Colorado has the best (PUEBLO) chiles or New Mexico beats them with their (HATCH) chiles.
It’s a confusing issue at best, but read on here for more info.
Throughout the country, Hatch chiles are more readily available–
but in Colorado Springs, folks are over the top about Pueblo chiles. Late summer and early fall find chile roasters operating on many corners around town with folks lined up to bring home enough green for the year. There are also chile festivals where you can eat and buy your fill.
You see, Broncos games are hard to get through without a pot of pork green chile simmering and a stack of tortillas warming in the oven. Christmas Eve is the same story, though the dish might be posole. That’s Colorado.
This is hard to admit (God forgive me), but my own druthers run to the HATCH, as I’m a milder sort of cook and HATCH chiles often come in mild varieties, while PUEBLO chiles can–though not always– raise your eyebrows, stun the roof of the mouth, and strain your gut in ways you weren’t expecting.
Over the years living mostly in the southwest, this Chicago girl has made a lot of meals using chiles. Somehow this year, chile gravy–instead of sausage gravy– kept popping up in my mind. Turkey seemed its natural companion and my savory waffles its born bed.
WHY MAKE SCRATCH WAFFLES? Homemade waffles are many times fresher, tremendously tastier, less-expensive, and probably healthier than the boxed or frozen varieties. And, let’s face it, you can’t find cornmeal and cheese waffles at the store, though you can make them in a New York minute at home. By the way, the gold standard for waffles recipes is Marion Cunningham’s Yeast-Raised one. That recipe, along with a basic waffle recipe and her famous pancake recipe are in THE MARION CUNNINGHAM BREAKFAST BOOK. If you usually make waffles and pancakes from a mix, try this recipe–or another homemade one– and see how fast and easy it is to whip up. I don’t think you’ll regret it. If you need Paleo and/or GF waffles for dietary or health reasons, I have made them from a Birch Benders mix using an egg and coconut milk with good results after reading a plethora of reviews.
When you make my gravy for brunch or as a quick breakfast for dinner, make your own choice about the peppers. Sauté a slew of onions, a bitty bit of celery and garlic, throw in some lean turkey and toss in your best bet on the chiles. My guess is: whichever one you choose will make you happy. Don’t forget to pass your favorite hot sauce and the pepper grinder at the brunch or the breakfast for dinner table for those with stronger tummies and tougher tongues. Whichever chile warms your soul, try this:
green chile-turkey gravy on cheddar cornmeal waffles with fried eggs
- Waffle Iron
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion cut into small dice
- 1 stalk celery minced
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 pound ground turkey
- Clove garlic minced
- ½ cup chopped roasted green chiles can use canned mild Hatch chiles
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon each: ground cumin and chili powder
- 1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons all purpose unbleached flour
- ½ cup milk
- Hot sauce
- 6 Cheddar Cornmeal waffles recipe below
- 6 fried eggs
- ½ cup grated Extra sharp Cheddar for garnish
- Salsa for garnish
- MAKE THE GRAVY: In a deep large skillet or 6-quart soup pot, warm the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and celery, season with ½ teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, and cook about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add in turkey and garlic; sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper along with the oregano, cumin, and chili powder. Cook, stirring often, until turkey is cooked through, showing no pink, and the vegetables are tender—another 10-15 minutes. Whisk the flour into the chicken broth and pour it over the turkey mixture; stir in the milk. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook a few minutes until thickened. Add a few drops of hot sauce or more to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings. Cover and keep warm while you…
- MAKE THE WAFFLES (see below in post for recipe)
- PUT IT ALL TOGETHER AND SERVE HOT: Divide the warm waffles between the six plates, top each with a little more than ½ cup of gravy, and add a fried egg. Garnish with grated Cheddar cheese and salsa.
The Friday Morning After Thanksgiving cook might make this with leftover roasted turkey cut into small dice or shredded. Follow the directions above, skip adding the ground turkey, and don’t put the already-cooked turkey in until you have put in the broth slurry, the milk, and are at the “bring to a boil” point.
CHEDDAR CORNMEAL WAFFLES
While I make these savory waffles for the Green Chile Turkey Gravy, they are also tasty topped with sautéed apples or cut into quarters and used for egg and ham sandwiches. Please read Cook’s Notes (below recipe) before beginning.
- Waffle Iron
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon each: fresh ground black pepper and chili powder
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese 2 ounces—FYI: you’ll need another 2 ounces for garnishing the Green Chile-Turkey gravy dish at the end
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit if you’d like to keep waffles warm and crispy until the whole batch is baked.
- Preheat waffle iron and brush lightly with canola or vegetable oil or spray with Baker’s Spray. (Or follow your waffle iron’s directions.)
- In a small bowl, beat or whisk together liquid ingredients (eggs, milk); set aside.
- In a large bowl or measuring cup, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder, baking powder). Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix briefly just to combine well. Lumps are ok.
- Pour 1/2 cup batter onto hot, greased waffle iron and bake as directed–approximately 4 minutes OR as directed by your waffle iron instruction booklet. (As batter sits, it will rise and be more puffy; you might need a bit more than 1/2 cup to make a whole waffle.) Place each waffle right on the warm oven rack to keep warm/crispy while you bake the rest. Repeat with remaining waffle batter.
- Serve hot with Green Chile Turkey Gravy, topped with a fried or poached egg, and garnished with a bit more grated cheddar.
Want your waffles extra crispy? Brush the waffle iron with oil before you make every waffle.
WINE? Make my Syrah Sangria and call it good.
…in the yard
Hello, kitty! While I was working on this post, the dogs — out on the deck — let themselves in. Surprise.
I looked outside and saw this young bobcat looking back up at me. Jumping back into the house, I remembered s/he could scale the deck in 1 second flat. #gottalovecolorado
We never know what the day will bring or what the dogs will accomplish, but I did get a waffle and gravy for brunch. Maybe you will, too.
September happiness, my friends. I’m so grateful you read here and hope this finds you with more time at the table as fall comes on. Cook something soon.