I can remember many a night in Baltimore when we would find ourselves celebrating our youth, ending up at Jimmy’s Restaurant in Fell’s Point at 6:00 in the morning to enjoy a big burger and a beer.
There was something about a rich meal, and mayhap rich isn’t the word that does it much justice, on mornings such as these.
The high fat levels would satiate every craving for calories and you would be ready to pass into a deep slumber, bordering on hibernation.
Having put more than a few years between me and those Jimmy’s mornings, I sometimes still like a plate of rich and delicious breakfast foods.
Recently, as I plundered my cupboards, I ran across an old standby; our waffle iron. I don’t make waffles often enough, although every time that I do eat them they are the perfect self-contained standalone meal.
Crispy on the outside, soft and steamy on the inside, the fresh waffle has so many applications that it shames me to think of how dismissive I am of their genius.
The obvious serving suggestion would be with maple syrup, as plain-Jane as it gets.
Served with some ice cream, hot fudge sauce and maraschino cherries, it becomes the perfect base for a sundae.
Lining the inside of two waffles with some ham and cheddar turns it into instant sandwich bread and bread that I promise won’t disappoint. With a small slather (there it is again) of sour cherry preserves, your bready buddy just gets better and better.
Or, as I did this morning, simply use the waffle as your breakfast toast. With a few adjustments to the all-star skillet you find in many restaurants, you will have that rich and creamy breakfast that will give you plenty of energy…after you sleep it off for an hour or so.
I like to play on themes, and one common breakfast theme is sausage and gravy. Making a similar cream-based sauce, I simply laced it with some Old Bay and it accompanied the salmon magnificently. Salmon?
Yes, a piece of seared salmon is wedged between the pieces of waffle as is a sunny side up egg. I don’t recommend that you eat your eggs over easy or sunny side up unless they are pasteurized. Mine are, so it’s always a treat to eat them this way.
By the time that your fork runs through the egg yolk, the waffle, and the salmon and down to the cream sauce, you will notice a few drops of Pavlovian drool as your mouth anticipates the goodness, but we’re not finished yet.
Adding to the mix a roasted Roma tomato and some quick-fried spinach will lend a sharp and fresh flavor to the dish, the acid from the tomato helping to cut through the fats on your plate. And there are plenty of fats in this behemoth.
Now this is a way to eat in the morning, especially on a cold and damp one. And once breakfast is done, I think it will be back to bed for me. The kids don’t know it yet and will probably disagree quite verbally if not physically with a battery of pillows, but that’s fine.
At least I’m not repairing myself from a night of celebrating my youth. I’m just repairing the damage of getting old.
Savory Salmon Waffle
½ ea. Roma tomato
½ ea. Fresh waffle
3 oz. Fresh salmon
1 ea. Large egg
Oil & Butter as needed
1 c. Fresh baby spinach
2 Tbsp. Old Bay Cream (recipe follows)
Coat the tomato halves with olive oil, salt & pepper and roast in a 400F oven until toasty
Cool them and then place them in a container and top off with olive oil. Use them in your dinners and you will see that they won’t last very long
Have the waffle ready and sear the salmon until just barely cooked through
Fry your egg over easy
Remove the egg from the pan and while the pan is very hot, add the spinach for a quick fry and wilt
Assemble your dish and enjoy! This is a fantastic dish for a cool evening or a morning on which you just might need something rich and soothing
Old Bay Cream
½ c. Chicken stock
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Minced red onion
1 c. Cream
Wondra, as needed
Old Bay, as needed
Combine the stock, garlic and onion in a small saucepan and reduce by 1/3
Add the cream and reduce by ¼
Add Wondra (diluted in some cold stock) until the sauce thickens to a gravy consistency
Season with the Old Bay and keep warm until service