Gluten-Free Blue Cornmeal Waffles

Hello friends! I know it’s been awhile since I posted–this month has been a bit crazy juggling a month-long freelance job (with regular office hours!), writing assignments, and normal life stuff (like cooking for 50 for a friend’s birthday). Last weekend I snuck away for a much-needed little getaway to Jamaica with my man (will post pictures soon…it was heavenly!). All of this has kept me a tad busy and I find myself having to choose between blogging and, say, showering. Sorry, my sense of hygiene won out this week…

This weekend we got our first snow in NYC (hooray!) and it’s been so nice to stay inside and try out some recipe ideas I’ve been kicking around. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a chill weekend at home with just B, me, and the kitties, so I decided to revive our Saturday brunch tradition and break out the waffle iron (which, for the record, has been one of our favorite wedding gifts). We have one of the round ones, the kind that makes thinner, slightly crisp waffles. I’m not huge on the thick Belgian waffles, but you could still make this recipe with a Belgian waffle-maker if you have one.

Last year, when some friends of ours were cleaning out their pantry before a move, they gave us some gluten-free blue cornmeal pancake and waffle mix. Even though we’re not gluten-free, we tried it and loved it. Once it ran out, I wanted to try and recreate my own version from scratch. I found a recipe for Blue Cornmeal Waffles on Food Network’s website which I used a guide, though I substituted regular flour for gluten-free, since we are trying to eat less gluten right now. I also cut back on the sugar and butter, and added some cinnamon (a suggestion from my taste-tester husband).

The result was fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen B more excited about a breakfast before! We both loved the nutty flavor of the blue cornmeal, the buttermilk gave it a tangy taste and a tender consistency, and best of all, you would NEVER know these were gluten-free.

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s SO adaptable. If you’re not gluten-free, just use regular all-purpose flour in place of the gluten-free flour. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding a teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of regular milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes or so, until it curdles, and carry on with the recipe. If you want to make it dairy-free, just substitute a non-dairy milk (almond, rice, or soy) and use vegetable oil instead of the butter. I will say, this will change the taste and consistency some–the buttermilk really makes these waffles out of this world–but they’re still good without. And last, if you want to make this totally vegan, follow the dairy-free instructions and use egg substitute for the eggs.

I am so thrilled to have a waffle recipe that is as delicious as it is healthy. (Sure, the side of bacon isn’t the healthiest option, but we buy the farm-raised, nitrate-free version…all in moderation!) I love adding fresh berries and sliced bananas to these waffles and a drizzle of maple syrup (or honey). These are definitely a brunch keeper, snow-day or not.


Makes 6 waffles

3/4 cup organic blue cornmeal
3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon organic sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for brushing griddle

Preheat your waffle maker.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour the buttermilk into a liquid measuring cup and add the eggs; whisk together until combined. Add the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients, along with the butter; whisk until smooth.

Brush your waffle maker with about a teaspoon of butter and add 1/3 cup of batter. Cook about 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly golden (I just wait until my waffle maker’s green light comes on, signaling it’s done). Serve with butter, maple syrup (or honey) and whatever topping strikes your fancy: berries, sliced bananas, toasted pecans…whatever you like!

If you have a cinnamon grinder (which you can buy in the spice section of the grocery store), grind some cinnamon on top just before eating-that makes it even better!

DAIRY-FREE VERSION: Substitute almond, rice, or soy milk for the buttermilk, and vegetable (or coconut) oil for the butter. If you want to make it totally vegan, use egg substitute in place of the eggs.

My name is Anna Watson Carl. In a word, I love food, I love France, and I love throwing dinner parties. Over the years, I've worked as a personal chef, taught cooking classes, edited cookbooks, written for magazines, tested and styled recipes, and traveled whenever opportunity has arisen. But at heart, there's nothing I love more than sharing a meal with friends around the yellow table.

For me, cooking has always been a way of life. As a (mildly precocious) ten-year old, I planned and prepared a four-course Valentine's dinner for my parents, birthing a lifelong passion for dinner parties. That was just the beginning. I've been cooking ever since, whipping up souffles at a chateau in Burgundy, searing filet mignon for a wealthy client's dog (bizarre, but true), butchering ducks for confit de canard in Paris, baking the night shift in Nashville, and bathing the floor of my NYC apartment in turkey brine...the story continues.


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