Waffle is no longer just a breakfast staple

By Kasturi Gadge | Mumbai

French Chef Alexis Gielbaum gives the classic waffle a twist. Here, he reveals how to get it right

Cut veggies in similar fashion for better texture

When you think European breakfast, it is usually a nice spread of some cold cuts, eggs, fresh fruits, waffles or pancakes with a side of maple syrup and a warm cup of java. During one such dreamy breakfast mornings in Paris, French chef Alexis Gielbaum put his thinking cap on and came up with a playful version of his favourite AM food, the vegetable waffle.

While it's available at the city's French eatery, Slink and Bardot, you can also whip it up at home. Speaking about his kitchen experiment Gielbaum says, "It's something that I encountered when I was cooking back in Paris. I figured eggs and waffles were both classic breakfast foods and wanted to combine them in dinner format amped with black truffle and mascarpone."

A twist in the tale
The first known waffle recipe found in a manuscript is said to be written by a husband for his wife. As per this recipe, the base version of all waffles was said to be just eggs, salt, wine beaten in flour after which he filled it in an iron and cook it on both sides. Today, while the batter recipe remains the same, you will find various versions of waffles such as chicken and waffle, waffle with syrup, waffle with fresh fruits and cream et al.

French chef Alexis Gielbaum gets the veggies ready for the waffle

For Gielbaum's version, you need flour, eggs, salt. Next up, come vegetables such as zucchini, carrot and onion shavings Gielbaum suggests you keep the cuts of all the vegetables similar to have a consistent texture in the batter. "However, be cautious to not smush them all in the batter otherwise the waffle might not get the needed crunch from the vegetables," he says. Chef Gielbaum also adds some cold Kingfish to the batter to enhance the savoury flavour. He says, "I make the waffle to order so it's nice and crispy and plate the components on top." That way, he ensures that the textures and the flavours are just right, suggesting that when making it at home, it is ideal to make a fresh batch each time.

Be creative with veggies
While making it at home, you could keep a batch of batter ready and even add some of the vegetables in your refrigerator just before putting it out in the waffle iron. At the restaurant, Gielbaum serves the dish topped with poached egg, a side of smoked salmon and a dressing of a rich and earthy truffle paste. He adds, "You could also use confit meat (pork, beef, duck and lamb) some good quality ham or any Mediterranean vegetables and herbs available at home." To enhance the flavours you could top it up with blanched herbs to bring a little bitterness.

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