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Here’s the perfect savory waffle treat to give comfort in the cold that’s blanketing most of North America this week. Enjoy!
Ham and Gruyère Waffle Tartines
Makes 4 servings
A tartine can be a slice of bread simply topped with butter and preserves, or it can be a more elaborate open-faced sandwich. (Leave it to the French to give even the humblest foods such a charming name.) This recipe employs waffles as the bread and combines the free-spirited toplessness of a tartine sandwich with classic croque monsieur ingredients. Waffle tartines make a satisfying breakfast or, with a vinaigrette-dressed salad served alongside, an excellent midday meal or light dinner. If you’ve got Classic Waffles in your freezer and are looking for an out-of-the-ordinary way to use them, here’s your answer.
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup/240 ml whole milk
1/2 cup/55 g shredded Gruyère cheese
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 standard Classic Waffles (see recipe below)
12 oz/340 g good-quality sliced ham
3/4 cup/85 g shredded Gruyère cheese
Whole-grain mustard, for serving
Cornichons, for serving
Preheat the oven to 500°F/260°C/gas 10. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
To make the sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour to make a roux and cook for about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually pour in the milk. Once all the milk is in, increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady but not overly vigorous simmer and cook the sauce, whisking occasionally, until it is nicely thickened and the starchy taste of the flour has been cooked out, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cheese, and whisk until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Whisk in the nutmeg and cayenne, and then season with salt and pepper. Set the sauce aside.
Lay out the waffles on the prepared baking sheet. Top each waffle with a portion of ham. Spoon one quarter of the sauce over the ham on each waffle and spread the sauce to about 1/2 in/12 mm of the edge. Sprinkle shredded Gruyère on each, dividing it evenly. Bake until the cheese is melted and spotty brown, 8 to 10 minutes. (If the cheese is not yet browned, turn on the broiler and broil the tartines until the cheese begins to color; this should take no longer than a minute.)
Let the tartines cool for a few minutes, then transfer them to individual plates. Serve right away, passing whole-grain mustard and cornichons at the table.
Makes about 8 standard (6 1/2-in/16.5-cm) round waffles
These waffles may be basic, but they’re solidly, dependably good, with just enough sugar for sweetness, baking powder for lift, and butter for richness. The batter comes together quickly, with ingredients that you probably have on hand. The cornstarch, a bit of an oddity in the ingredient lineup, helps keep the waffles supremely light and tender, but you can choose to leave it out—just be sure to use a gentle hand when mixing the batter.
2 cups/280 g unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch (optional)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 large eggs
2 cups/480 ml whole milk, at room temperature
6 tbsp/85 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
If you plan to hold the waffles and serve them all at once rather than one at a time hot off the waffle iron, preheat the oven to 225°F/110°C/gas 1/4 and set a large wire rack on a large, rimmed baking sheet.
Preheat your waffle iron.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cornstarch (if using), baking powder, and salt until well combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until combined, and then whisk in the milk. Gradually whisk in the butter.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk gently just until the batter is evenly moistened. It’s fine if some small lumps remain. Give the batter a couple of folds with a rubber spatula to ensure that there aren’t any pockets of flour.
Pour a generous 1/2 cup/120 ml of the batter (or the waffler manufacturer’s recommended amount) into the center of the waffle iron. Use the rubber spatula to even it out and distribute it slightly (but there is no need to spread it all the way to the edges). Close the lid and bake the waffle to the desired doneness.
Remove the waffle and serve it immediately before baking the remaining batter. Or set it on the wire rack and slide the baking sheet into the oven to keep the waffle warm. Bake the remaining batter, transferring each waffle to the rack in the oven.
Purchase: Waffles: Sweet, Savory, Simple.
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