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Home Cooking 33

Did Dorie Do Me Dirty?

Blowfish | Sep 12, 201303:44 PM

Greetings fellow hounds. I've been a long-time lurker around here, but this is my first time actually posting.

I've been working my way through "Around My French Table" and enjoying it so much that I decided to give Dorie's book "Waffles: From Morning to Midnight," a try. I'm not generally a huge waffle eater, but my pregnant sister-in-law has been craving them and did so all through her last pregnancy, and the thought of peanut butter and chocolate chip waffles every girl's night for the next seven months spurred me to an act of, if not exactly desperation, something rather close to it. And even I can't complain about the $0.01 plus shipping price on Amazon.

So my Waffles cookbook came in the mail today, buried amidst ceramic pie weights, various sized tart pans--who doesn't fall into a baking frenzy this time of year?--even a cast iron aebelskiver pan--not sooo dissimilar from waffles when you really think about it--and was promptly pulled out and rifled through with the singular anticipation that always accompanies a new cookbook acquisition.

You can imagine my dismay when I paged through to the first recipe only to see: "BAD! (heavily underlined and with multiple exclamation points) Do not make -- heavy & dense" scrawled along the margin. So of course my curiosity was piqued and I had to read through the recipe with a skeptic's eye. Could the most basic recipe in the book, "Plain-and-Easy Breakfast Quickies," really be as bad as all that? Or was this just evidence of the frustrations of an inexperienced cook working with an inferior waffle iron?

The ingredients of the recipe looked workable. The ratios looked solid. So, beginning to doubt the cook's dire warning, I probed deeper into the recipe. And then there it was: no separating the egg and beating the whites to form stiff, glossy peaks. No gentle folding of the results to ensure peak fluffiness. Just a wham-bam-thank you, ma'am whisk with milk before tossing the whole she-bang together and pouring on the iron. Even I, at most a twice-a-year waffler, know that beating the egg whites is the best way to ensure the lighter than air interior that is half the secret to waffle perfection (crisp crust being the other half).

So...I went into this purchase with the trust that Dorie could lead me into the realm of the savory waffle and make the ride ever so worth the many hours of P90x and kickboxing I will have to endure in order to accommodate. But now I begin to wonder. If I can't trust her with the most basic waffle recipe out there, how can I trust her with "Couscous Waffles w/Roasted Red Pepper Dip" or "Apple, Onion, and Gruyere Waffles"? Should I bother? Has anyone had experience with this cookbook and would like to share? Or expertise with savory waffles in general or recipes similar to those contained in this book? How'd they come out?

Please share...

As a side note, I'd like to thank whoever suggested broccoli rabe as an accompaniment to veal chops in a very old post I found. I'd never cooked said chops before--on account of the exorbitant price tag--but, guided by knowledgeable hounds and a sense of adventure, I served them in pan sauce alongside garlicky broccoli rabe and celery root puree...and even my husband agreed it was probably the best meal I'd ever made. (This coming from the man who recently told me my honey cakes tasted like sawdust, so I know he wasn't just saying it to be nice.)

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