Friday, November 21, 2003

Caramelized Onion Waffles with Smoked Salmon:Recipe


Sometimes what inspires me most is a cookbook. I read cookbooks like some people read magazines. Browsing, skimming the index, picking and choosing a recipe here, a recipe there. Like many cooks, I don't necessarily follow recipes to the letter, but I do get great ideas from them.

Right now I have a pile of cookbooks next to my bed. I am reading several by Paula Wolfert and several more by Nigella Lawson. I'm actually trying to decide if I want to purchase any of them. I check out cookbooks from the library when I can to live with them a bit and see how it goes. The one cook book I did purchase recently is "The Secrets of Success Cookbook, Signature Recipes and Insider Tips from San Francisco's Best Restaurants", written by SF Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer. It came highly recommended and I have to say I have not been disappointed.

One of the recipes that inspired me this week was the Caramelized Onion Waffle with Smoked Salmon and Radish Salad from Michael Bauer's cookbook. What appealed to me so much was the idea of a savory waffle. I have a buckwheat pancake mix but it's generally too earthy tasting so I try to doctor it by mixing it half and half with buttermilk pancake mix so using it for a savory waffle seemed like a terrific idea to me. My recipe is only similar to the original in that it combines caramelized onions with waffles, topped with smoked salmon. It is very easy and as you can see from the photo impressive to look at. Note: This recipe serves 3 but the proportions make this a very easy recipe to multiply.

Caramelized Onion Waffles with Smoked Salmon

Ingredients

Batter:
1/2 cup buckwheat pancake mix
1/2 cup buttermilk pancake mix
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon oil
1 egg (or fake egg replacement)
pinch of salt

1/2 onion, very thinly sliced or shredded with a mandoline
pinch of sugar

3 Tablespoons sour cream
1/2 lemon

10-12 slices smoked salmon (enough to cover your waffles)
Capers
Fresh dill (optional)

Instructions

Cook the onion with a pinch of sugar in a lightly greased heavy pan over medium heat, until caramelized, let cool in pan off the stove. Whisk the batter ingredients together until combined but not smooth, until the lump just disappear, mix in the cooled caramelized onion.

Prepare waffle iron and use slightly more than 1/2 cup of batter to make the waffle. You want the waffle iron to be completely filled with batter, if a little seeps over the edges that's OK. Keep the finished crisp waffles in the oven at 200 degrees until ready to serve. While the waffles are cooking, make the lemon cream sauce by combining the sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind and juice of 1/2 a small lemon. Top the waffles with slices of smoked salmon, drizzle with lemon cream using a fork, sprinkle with capers and chopped dill. Makes 3 waffles.

Enjoy!