Sometimes I really think I should have started this blog with the sole purpose of sharing my insane and often ridiculous ways of re-purposing lefteovers. Seriously, it’s nearly turning into a hobby.
I loved having house company for the past two weeks because I got to make breakfast for them everyday. You see, my family doesn’t do breakfast aside from special occasions or eating breakfast foods for lunch and/or dinner so it’s fun to always have a reason to make the house smell like bacon in the early hours of the morning. Well, okay there’s always reason to do that. I guess what I mean is to have someone up and ready to eat my breakfast when it’s actually still morning.
So what I was saying about leftovers, these waffles were inspired by me having a ton of taco fixings in the fridge from all of the stuff I made last week around Cinco de Mayo. I made this chili seasoned beef mix to go on the tacos but then I was brainstorming ideas of what to do with leftovers and I kept thinking of potatoes. Unlike Chilean culture I happen to think of potatoes and chili being one of the best and most classic duos in the world. I’ve also had hash brown waffles on my to-do list so putting them together was such a perfect answer to my question of what to make.
Confused as to what I’m talking about with my reference to Chilenos? Did I tell you guys about last year’s chili and potato party that included a mixture of this group of young (total North American) missionaries from FL, my crazy family, some close friends, and a bunch of Chileans? Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it more than once on the blog but it was such an unforgettable and hilarious experience that it’s worth repeating.
I won’t explain everything but let’s just say that when we planned the menu as a chili bar with choices of what to put it on/with (hot dogs, cornbread, baked potatoes….) we were thinking that it was pretty self-explanatory and everyone would understand how to do it. Well, I think we underestimated the culture gap a little. A friend that we met soon after told us that Chileans consider eating potato peels akin to banana peels. It was just an epic fail….yeah.
Was that too long an explanation? Sorry, I’ve been thinking of that scenario for three totally different reasons over the last week so I couldn’t resist bringing it up. The first and most obvious reason is that I can’t help remembering the occasion whenever potatoes with chili come up in conversation. Then secondly, the other night I thought of it again when I tried a similar style dinner for some friends, only it was a mac and cheese bar instead of chili, and I felt like it totally bombed. Although, I realized that was probably because I have this problem with food letdown. Whenever I make something that’s as popular as tacos (omg, and did I mention that I made fried pita tacos for the first time last week! Coming soon, promise.) anything I make after it feels like it doesn’t measure up.
Okay, but reason number three, we heard the official report from our missionary friends in Orlando that they are really going to be coming again this year. The details have yet to be decided but still, I’m going back and forth between freaking out and being really excited. It’s going to be craziness in July around here.
All right, but now I really need to shut it and talk about waffles! So the only down side I can think of to these amazing things is that they take forever to do each one. But honestly, that’s probably just what it felt like to me because I had already spent at least an hour testing ratios of potato, cheese, and chili before I actually started making them, and then I was also making a lot of them. For a smaller group these shouldn’t take that long, and also, if you have two waffle irons or one of those ginourmous family sized-ones these will be no big deal at all. Trust me, the amount of added crispiness that you get on the potatoes and cheese with all of the waffle ridges is so worth it! Hash waffles for the win!
Hmmm….what else am I forgetting? I think that’s basically it. You can eat these anytime of day, not just breakfast and then I listed some of the toppings I used in the recipe but You should definitely get creative and pile on anything and everything you think would complement these!
Now that I’ve answered the question that I feel should be asked about every food for the rest of ever; ‘But can you waffle it?’, I feel like this life is complete. Challenge: to waffle chili-cheese+hash = ……OWNED!
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, washed and grated (about 5 cups grated)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 cup water
- 1 (16 ounce) can lentils (or pinto beans)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons salsa verde
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- oil or melted butter for greasing iron
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Hot sauce
- Fresh cilantro
- Fill a medium mixing bowl about halfway full of water and stir in 1 tablespoon salt. Add the grated potatoes to the bowl as you grate them and then allow them to soak for about 30 minutes while making the chili.
- Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat with the onion and garlic until browned, breaking up meat as it cooks. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the water, tomato paste, and beans and stir into beef. Stir the cornstarch and water together in a small dish until smooth, then add to pan along with all the rest of chili ingredients and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until thickened.
- Drain the potatoes in a large strainer, then pour them onto a clean kitchen towel and wrap into a bundle. Squeeze out as much of the liquid from the potatoes as you can then pour them out into a large, clean, mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs, pepper, and flour in a small bowl and pour out over potatoes. Add the chili mixture and cheese to bowl and stir everything together.
- Heat your waffle iron (to medium-high if it has settings) and brush it well with oil when hot. Spoon about 1 cup of mixture into waffle iron (you can adjust amount based on the size of your waffle iron) and press down the lid to close. Cook for 8 - 12 minutes until browned and crispy!
- Serve hot with desired toppings.