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Easy dinner recipes: Waffles aren't just for breakfast

It's a wonder some people only consider the waffle for breakfast

Waffles are one of those simple culinary marvels. Baked in a hot iron to crisp and light perfection, these honeycombed breads are made for catching whatever you lovingly ladle on top. While their deep pockets are perfect for holding warm syrup, waffles are equally adept at containing glazed fruit, ice cream, and even fried chicken and gravy. It's a wonder some people only consider the waffle for breakfast.

Sour cream waffles: Like a little tang in your waffle? These extra-light waffles get their airy texture from beaten egg whites and delicate cake flour. But it's the sour cream that sets these waffles apart. You won't taste it, but it does brighten the flavors.

Yeast-raised waffles: You can't go wrong with food legend Marion Cunningham's yeast-raised waffles. The waffles themselves come together in about 40 minutes, though the starter does need some time to get going  -- prepare the starter the night before if you want these for breakfast, or first thing in the morning if you're planning dinner.

Cornmeal Belgian waffles: For a little something different, this recipe calls for corn flour and cornmeal in the batter, with shredded cheddar folded into the batter, and red pepper flakes and serrano-chile butter to add a little heat. Hungry yet? Start to finish, these waffles come together in 30 minutes. You can find the recipe below.

 

CORNMEAL BELGIAN WAFFLES

Total time: 30 minutes / Servings: 6 to 8

Note: Corn flour is available in the natural food sections of some supermarkets.

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter

1 tablespoon seeded minced serrano chile

2 1/4 cups corn flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 cup half-and-half

1 cup milk

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded

Cheddar cheese

2 egg whites, beaten to soft peaks

1. Melt the butter in a small skillet. Saute the chile in the butter just until tender, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Combine the corn flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, salt and red pepper flakes. Stir in the half-and-half, milk and butter-chile mixture. Stir in the cheese, then fold in the beaten egg whites.

3. Heat a nonstick Belgian waffle iron until hot. Spray the waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray or brush it with oil. Pour the recommended amount of batter onto the hot waffle iron. Close the lid and cook until the waffles are golden brown and release easily from the iron. Repeat until all batter is used.

4. Serve the waffles with Mexican crema and maple syrup. Accompany with pork sausage links.

Each serving: 410 calories; 14 grams protein; 42 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 21 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 64 mg. cholesterol; 715 mg. sodium.

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