Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Waffles

For Christmas, my parents got Andrea and I a George Foreman Grill, which has removable plates. (The plates are actually dishwasher safe, which is great.) One set of plates is for making waffles, and we were keen to try them out. So I went online on the weekend, and found a waffle recipe that looked good, and decided to give it a try.

I’d never made waffles before, so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. Unfortunately, it turned out badly. The waffles were sticking to the plates, so when you’d open the grill up, you’d end up with the top sticking to the top half, the bottom sticking to the bottom half, and the in-between parts not really cooked properly. It was awful. And the second batch was even worse than the first batch; Andrea and I spent a good ten minutes trying to scrape the gunk off of the grill plates.

But I did some research, and I found three things that I’d done wrong:

  • I didn’t spray the grill with cooking spray. I didn’t figure I’d have to, because they’re supposed to be non-stick plates, but I think I should have anyway.
  • I stirred the mix too much. I found out after (from my mom) that for waffles, and also for pancakes, you’re not supposed to stir the mix too much; you just get it mixed, and then leave it. Whereas I was stirring it for a long time, and then, when I was waiting for the waffles to cook, I’d keep stirring it, from time to time. Whoops.
  • I took them out too soon. The George Foreman Grill instructions said that you should cook waffles for about 3–5 minutes, whereas I cooked mine for 10–15. But when I took them off the grill, they were still steaming, and instructions I found later say that you should wait until they’re done steaming, before you take them off the waffle iron.
That last point is pretty reflective of all of the cooking that I do. If I find a recipe for salmon, and it says that the fish will take ten minutes to cook, I can be guaranteed that it will take at least forty. Which is odd, because my oven is actually hotter than it indicates, so I always have to turn it to a slightly lower temperature than instructions tell me. (Pizzas always take less time to cook than the box indicates.) And the instructions for the George Foreman Grill are like that too; anything that I’ve cooked has taken at least twice as long as what the instructions say it will.

Anyway, back to the point. Last night I tried again, using the same recipe, but spraying the grill plates with cooking spray, not stirring the mix too much, and leaving them in until they finished steaming. (They were actually still steaming a bit, but not much. I didn’t want them to burn.) And they came out great.

In the future, we might start making waffles for a treat, instead of pancakes, which is what we’ve been using for our “fun” dinners.

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