Saturday, March 23, 2013

Quilted Pancakes and No-Splatter Bacon

What, you've never heard of quilted pancakes?

Okay, they're actually waffles. But think about it, doesn't a round waffle look like a pancake that's been quilted? And doesn't quilting require an iron, just as waffle-making does? Work with me here. How else can I justify talking about this morning's brunch on a quilting blog?

If you think you've ever eaten the lightest, fluffiest, most delicious waffles in the world, then you or the person who cooked for you must have discovered this old Betty Crocker recipe. I will never make a different one again. This waffle is so light and airy I'm surprised it doesn't float right off the waffle iron the second it's opened. For me, it far surpasses any boxed mix and any waffle served at any restaurant chain. And it's so, so easy to make. Here's the recipe. (Stay tuned for the no-splatter--no kidding--bacon, below.)

From Betty Crocker's New Cookbook, copyright 1996, p. 51:


2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour (if using self-rising, omit baking powder and salt)
1-3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon granulated or brown sugar (I haven't tried brown)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Heat waffle iron.

2. Beat eggs in a large bowl with hand beater (whisk works great) until fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients just until smooth. (I always beat the liquid ingredients into the eggs, and stir the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl before beating them into the liquid mixture. I just think this incorporates everything much better without having to do too much beating, which can make waffles tough.)

3. Pour a scant 2/3 cup batter from cup or pitcher onto center of hot waffle iron. (Check manufacturer's directions for recommended amount of batter.) Close lid of waffle iron.

4. Bake about 5 minutes or until steaming stops. Carefully remove waffle. Serve immediately (I pile them onto warm plates in the oven until we're ready to eat). Repeat with remaining batter.

My note: The leftover waffles freeze well and can be lightly toasted or warmed in foil later.

NO-SPLATTER BACON splattering, no spatula, and the bacon comes out nice and flat (great for BLTs). If I'd known about this method years ago, my son would be a worse bacon-junkie than he already is, and our Walmart wouldn't be double-stocking Jimmy Dean cooked sausage. If you and the rest of the world already knew about this method, please excuse my gushing--I'm not yet over the euphoria of eating good bacon without having to clean a greasy stove, floor and walls afterward.

This is adapted from Ina Garten's Maple-Roasted Bacon recipe in the Barefoot Contessa At Home cookbook. I skipped the maple syrup, since my husband and I were having it on our waffles, so the only ingredient here is bacon.

3/4 pound thick-cut smoked bacon (16 slices) (I just used regular-cut bacon--not too thin, though--and filled the rack with however many pieces I could fit.)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Here comes the magic! Place a roasting/cooling rack on a sheet pan. Arrange the bacon in 1 layer ONLY on the baking rack. Bake (not broil, so shut the door) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bacon begins to brown (I started checking it after 14 minutes)Remove the pan carefully from the oven; there will be hot grease in the pan!! Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels (I use brown lunch bags; cheaper and more absorbent) and serve warm.

Yummy--crisp and tender!

And now, it's time to go quilt. See? I knew I'd get that in somewhere.

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