Now I figure that all this trip recapping will go on for quite a while, and in the meantime the least I can do is make you brunch. That said, it is only fair to let you know that the sub-title of this post is ‘the brunch we didn’t have until now’…
Someone Tweeted a pic the first day of Blogher from Cafe 222 in San Diego. I looked it up on The Google Machine and decided that as it was just on the edge of Gas Lamp, and only blocks from our hotel, we needed to go there immediately if not sooner, or at least before we left town. Unfortunately we didn’t get around to it until Saturday morning, and by 8:30 when we showed up there was already a queue out the door.
My sessions started around 9:30 so brunch went by the wayside, just as I realised that I had forgotten to put on deodorant that day in the rush to leave the room. I was most definitely hangry about the whole thing [you know, hungry and angry, shaken over ice, topped with a big scoop of irritation and a slice of lemon. It happens, it’s why I travel with snacks. RJ calls me ‘spirited’ I can’t imagine why.].
We then had the best of intentions to get up early and go on Sunday before our flight, but when the alarm went off at 6am even the allure of brunch couldn’t convince us to remove ourselves from bed just yet. Luckily our lovely hosts were kind enough to make us breakfast before we headed out to face TSA.
Anyway, the solution to having not been able to go to Cafe 222 while we were in San Diego? Re-create the best bits [as so deemed by my stomach when looking at their site] of the menu at home of course. First up? Cornbread Waffles, obviously, and from what I can tell their waffle doesn’t come with anything on top. Unacceptable. What is acceptable however is Cinnamon Apple Compote.
Now, although they do have a couple of recipes on their site, Cornbread Waffles is not one of them. After an exhaustive [not really] search I ended up using this as my base. Along with a few other small tweeks [you know I can’t ever just follow a recipe] I separated the eggs and beat the whites to make the batter a bit lighter.
These waffles are delicious with the apples [who am I kidding, the apples are fabulous even on their own, eaten with a fork directly from the fridge the next day]. They would also be perfect with Maple Syrup or, in a fit of savory desire some Veggie Chili and Avocado, or Chicken Stew, or pretty much anything else you would eat with cornbread, or with waffles. I have now also decided that as lovely as our little Heart Waffle Iron is, I need a big, deep Belgian Waffle maker, just because.
Also, there is no doubt that I will continue to make my way through the Cafe 222 menu and will soon feature some variation on Peanut Butter and Banana Stuffed French Toast and shortly thereafter Pumpkin Waffles. Have I mentioned my obsession with brunch? No? Um yeah, just a little bit obsessed. There really is no downside to that, everybody wins.
1 cup cornmeal [polenta]
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk*
2 Tbsp apple juice concentrate*
2 eggs – separated
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1/2 cup corn*
Full Method in under 100:
In a medium bowl sift together dry ingredients, stir through corn. Whisk all wet ingredients, except egg whites, in a jug. Beat whites with a clean whisk or electric beater until soft peaks form.
Stir wet into dry, gently fold in whites and set aside for 10 mins. Preheat waffle iron* and cook waffles to desired done-ness.
Serve with your topping of choice. Freeze any leftovers between layers of baking/parchment paper and toast to re-heat. Makes 8-10 waffles with approx 1/2 cup batter each.
- I didn’t have buttermilk so I used about 3/4 cup of natural greek yougurt and thinned it with water and some goat milk to a buttermilk consistency. You can use what ever kind of milk or milk substitute you desire and add the juice from a quarter of a lemon.
- Apple juice concentrate can be found at health food stores. Substitute honey, real maple syrup or agave syrup instead.
- I used frozen corn – I like it better than canned because it doesn’t tend to have any added salt or sugar. To thaw quickly, rinse it off in cool water and let drain on paper towel . Even better, use fresh!
- I set my waffle iron to the highest number to get a bit of a crunchy crust on these, just play with the temp to see what works best.
Cinnamon Apple Compote
2 large or 3 medium organic apples
1 tsp cinnamon
peach sea salt
1/4 cup water
Full Method in under 100:
Wash apples, remove cores and slice thinly. Add to medium heavy based saucepan with remaining ingredients. Stir to combine, cover pan and simmer on medium low for 15 minutes.
Stir half way through and then again towards the end of the cooking time. Add a bit more water if the apples get too dry, you want a nice cinnamon-y sauce in the bottom. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for a further 5 minutes.
Serve over waffles, pancakes, yogurt, ice cream, toast … or anything really.
- I used Pink Lady apples – they are crisp and sweet and a little bit tart. If you use really tart apples you may want to add a dash of honey or syrup, if you use really sweet apples you may want to add a dash of lemon juice.