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Sunday, December 21, 2014         

BY REQUEST


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Waffles stand in for bread in savory take on sandwich

By Betty Shimabukuro

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 06:42 p.m. HST, Nov 20, 2014

When I start my food truck operation (which would be after I get a truck, a lotta food and a whole lotta startup cash), the theme will be waffle sandwiches. Wafflewiches.

This is not an original concept. When I was visiting my friend Brenda in California this summer, we went to Bruxie Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches, a small local chain, and had roasted mushrooms and goat cheese served between two crisp waffles.

It's a great gimmick. Waffles are crunchy and sweet, a good foil for many savory foods, and easy to handle.

Locally we have waffle dogs, the filled waffles of Watcha Fillin' food truck and the Belgian street waffles of Wow Wow Waffle, another food truck that piles savory mounds of food on top of waffles. The Southern classic of fried chicken with waffles is on many restaurant menus. There probably are more I haven't stumbled across yet, so on second thought my food truck idea may be too little too late.

I'll just stick with making them at home. Try wafflewiches for dinner. Or lunch. Or brunch. Use your secret family recipe for waffles, or a just-add-water mix, or easiest of all, frozen waffles. If your kids are wary of certain wholesome foods, they may be willing to eat them if presented between two waffles.

This recipe is based on the sandwich we had at Bruxie. A number of variations follow, but really, you can do this with any sandwich filling.

Now, I'm suggesting frozen waffles to make this simple enough for a weeknight dinner. But by all means heat up your waffle iron if you're so inclined.

WAFFLEWICH WITH GRILLED VEGGIES AND GOAT CHEESE

8 frozen waffles
1/4 cup goat cheese, softened
4 slices tomato
1 cup arugula or shredded lettuce

>> Grilled vegetables:
4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 small onion, sliced

To prepare vegetables: Brush mushrooms with oil and vinegar. Let sit 10 to 15 minutes. Grill, sauté or broil until softened. Onions may be grilled in a grilling pan or sauteed until lightly browned. Slice mushrooms.

Toast waffles until very crisp. Spread four with goat cheese, top with tomato, arugula, mushrooms and onions. Spread four remaining waffles with goat cheese and place on top of first four. Serves 4.

VARIATIONS

>> Like a bagel: Smoked salmon with cream cheese, thinly sliced red onions and cucumbers

>> Like a luau: Kalua pork with diced pineapple

>> Like a plate lunch: Chicken katsu, sliced, with katsu sauce (or ketchup) and shredded cabbage

>> Like a musubi: Sliced pan-fried Spam with a thin Japanese-style omelet and a sprinkle of furikake

>> Like a club sandwich: Sliced deli ham with bacon, Swiss cheese, tomato, avocado and lettuce or sprouts

>> Like the day after Thanksgiving: Sliced deli turkey (or leftover roast turkey if you have it) with cranberry sauce (or guava jam) and lettuce

>> Like a tuna melt: Tuna salad (made with canned tuna, mayonnaise and minced onions), shredded cheddar cheese and lettuce

>> Like a BBQ: Leftover baby back ribs, deboned, with barbecue sauce or hoisin, grilled onions and tomato

Nutritional information unavailable.

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Write "By Request," Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or email bshimabukuro@staradvertiser.com.






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