~ The Morning After: Thanksgiving Stuffing Waffles ~
Thanksgiving. I love all the pomp and circumstance and I always cook a full-blown, traditional feast with all the trimmings. Stuffing. Next to a cold turkey sandwich on white bread with lettuce, tomato and mayo the next day, stuffing is the dish I like best (we all have our #1 favorite). I could skip the other stuff -- I'm fine with a plate of steamy stuffing and a ladle of gravy on Turkey Day, reheated the next day, or, a cold slice of stuffing as a snack for a day or two or three afterward.
What's the difference between "stuffing" and "dressing"?
"Back in the days", before large wall ovens, small toaster ovens and microwaves, space in the home kitchen was almost always limited, so, stuffing was almost always "stuffed" inside the bird -- it was also a smart way to get an inexpensive, extra side-dish that "stretched the meal" a bit (without taking up any extra time or precious space). This method also kept Grandma's stuffing super-moist with a steamed, pudding-like texture. When stuffing is baked in a casserole (not in the bird), the technical term for it is indeed "dressing", but, in our family, we settled on calling it "stuffing casserole". I love "the stuff".
Imagine my glee when I found out I could make waffles out of leftover stuffing for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Why didn't I think of that? No matter. I'm just grateful I found out. It changed my life. It's a reason to get my Belgian waffle iron out on Thanksgiving evening (as I would never consider making waffles of any type from scratch on the morning after such an exhausting holiday). "Big, thick, Belgian-style stuffing waffles (with all the trimmings) for breakfast or brunch."
"Big, thick, Belgian-style stuffing waffles with all the trimmings. Just saying those words makes me salivate.
Use your favorite moist stuffing -- they will all work. I use my mom's cracker stuffing casserole (see Cook's Note below for details). It's got a moist, bread puddling-esque consistency. That said, if you plan on making stuffing waffles, it's best to use the soft center of the baked casserole rather than the crispy edges, and, I always microwave it for a moment to heat it up -- heating it softens it which allows it to smoosch easily into the nooks and crannies of the waffle iron.
~ Step 1. Heat 1 cup cooked stuffing in the microwave, place it on grids of preheated Belgian waffle iron & close the lid:
Special Equipment List: Belgian waffle iron; 1/2 cup measure, preferably microwave safe; thin spatula and/or fork
Cook's Note: Feel free to use your favorite stuffing recipe to make waffles out of baked stuffing. That said, ~ I Just Love My Mom's Cracker Stuffing Casserole ~. Made with saltine crackers, milk, eggs and ground beef, after it's baked, this savory mixture has the consistency of bread pudding. It makes awesome waffles. You can find the recipe in Categories 4, 12, 18 or 19.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/2016)