You know what my biggest pet peeve is with food writing?
When writers give their recipes suspicious titles.
‘Happy Soup’, ‘Lovely Pasta’, ‘Easy as Pie Pie’. I’ll be the judge of that thank you. Just tell me what the God damn recipe is, will you?
Having said that… despite my initial anger at such childish and sloppy naming of recipes… I’ve written a recipe for something called Squaffles.
I am more than happy to be branded a hypocrite here.
But I believe I am justified in my titling. This here recipe outlines some really good savoury waffles where the batter is made out of roast butternut squash flesh. But there’s something not very sexy about ‘Butternut Squash Waffles’. It’s clumsy.
So I mashed both words together and here I give you Squaffles. Sue me.
Admittedly these are not ‘Tuesday morning’ waffles you whack together while you still got crust in your eye – there is a bit of preparation involved. This is why I will not encourage you to make these unless you’ve got a butternut squash going begging in the fridge.
I have also been a huge advocate that Kitchens do not need a whole Wonka Factory of gizmos and gadgets to get a meal on the table (and I still stand by that) however I do have a waffle maker and like to put it to use from time to time.
My dog’s name is Waffle for Christ sake, give me a break!
And while I would not encourage you to make these as a standard morning practice, I would encourage you to make your bacon like this forevermore.
As Brits we are inclined to fry bacon, which by all intents and purposes, will always be my favourite method of bacon cooking. However, have you ever baked bacon?
I told you the other day about the wonder of baking feta (with this risotto recipe… it’s so intense) and baking bacon (say it three times fast) is absolutely incredible. It gives you a super crispy, crunchy streak of bacon that is the perfect texture against an otherwise soft breakfast.
My one request to my friend Caitlin when she visited her friends in Canada over Christmas was to bring me back maple syrup. Not ‘have a good time’ or ‘have a safe flight’. It was ‘bring me maple syrup or do not bother coming back’.
She delivered. The maple syrup is incredible and it is featured here.
I can’t encourage you to fly to Canada for this recipe, but I will encourage you to stock up on maple syrup whenever you see it reduced in British stores. It is the best.
Assuming your butternut squash is not already peeled, chopped and pureed (like mine always is because I’m a twat) how you get this is to literally peel the neck/long bit of a butternut squash, chop it into small blocks, salt/pepper/oil it, bung it in a preheated oven for 40 minutes.
Blitz it to a paste and leave to cool.
Let’s assume you did this mid-week so come Saturday morning your puree is ready to go, and you’re banging for some waffles.
First make your waffle batter, because letting it sit gives you a much more velvety batter.
Drop the puree into a big jug. Your butternut neck should give you roughly 150 – 200g of puree, which will feed 2 people 2 waffles each but adjust your measurements if your squash puree is more or you are catering for more people.
But for 2, into this crack an egg. Add a teaspoon of paprika and 50g of dark rye flour. You could just as easily use plain flour, but I wanted real, thick smoky wood flavours here so went with dark rye. Add half a teaspoon of baking powder, some thyme leaves and a sneaky throw of some sea salt.
Whisk everything together to create a bright orange batter.
Keep this to one side, preheat your oven to 200c and get your waffle iron out.
Mine is as standard one where you literally plug it in, wait for it to heat up and get cracking. So heat yours up however you need to, just get the damn thing hot.
Get yourself some slices of bacon and put them in a bowl. I used streaky bacon but any will be fine. In the bowl add a tiny bit of soy sauce and a glug of maple syrup.
Bathe them in it and coat them up really glossy and sexy.
Place them on a foil lined baking tray, drizzle over the maple/soy and sling them in the oven. You want them in the oven for 30 minutes so around 15 minutes in, start making your waffles.
You literally do this by squirting some oil on the metal plate of the waffle iron and pour in the batter. My waffle maker makes 2 at a time and takes roughly 3-4 minutes to cook the waffle batter until it’s scorched and puffed up.
Put your waffles on to their waiting plates.
Now I tend to turn the heat down slightly and give me and extra 10 minutes to fry two eggs, but if you don’t want the eggs you could just crack on and take the bacon out.
Give the bacon about 3/4 minutes just to rest and firm up. I take one rasher of bacon and smush it up with my fingers to create some bacon ‘bits’ which I then scatter over the waffles and then serve the other rashers whole, but it’s totally up to you.
Basically by this point the crispy maple bacon is done, your Squaffles are done so the rest is up to you. Mine go down with extra thyme on them, the bacon bits, the fried egg and a really strong coffee.
But the morning is yours, do what you need to survive.