A recipe with smoked salmon is sure to grab my attention. So are ones with cute stacks of things made in mini versions. There were a lot of great ideas in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table, but these savory waffles were first on my list of things to try. There are two ways you could go with these waffles. You could make whole waffles, cut them into quarters, top them as you please, and serve them in one, single layer. They’d be great as small bites for a cocktail party. Or, as I did, you can make mini waffles by just placing a spoonful of batter in the center of each waffle square assuming you’re using a square waffle maker. Then, the mini waffles can be topped and stacked into towers for brunch. The toppings here are creme fraiche, smoked salmon, and chopped chives, but in the book, salmon roe is also shown as an optional topping. You could get creative and use these as vehicles for all kinds of things though. For instance, the pate de jardin made by Kocurek Family Charcuterie that I brought home from the farmers’ market was another delicious thing to set atop these waffles. The batter for them was made with chopped green onions, chives, and smoked salmon in it, so the savory flavors ran through each bite.
Making the batter was as easy as it always is for any pancake or waffle. Flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper, in this case, were whisked together. In a separate bowl, milk, eggs, and melted butter were combined and then added to the dry ingredients. Everything was stirred together but just barely. As usual, some lumps are fine. Last, chopped smoked salmon, green onions, and chives were folded into the batter. I heated my waffle maker, and mine happens to make kind of big dents in waffles rather than little, dainty ones. In this case, a daintier dent might have been nicer, but mine worked well enough. When the machine was hot, I spooned a bit of batter into the center of each of the four waffle squares. They cooked for the usual amount of time which for my machine is about six minutes. When they were all done, I stacked three mini waffles per serving with creme fraiche and more smoked salmon between each layer.
There’s enough butter in these waffles to give them good, rich flavor which fit well with the salty, savoriness of cured salmon. Salmon, chives, and creme fraiche is a mix that works every time. Sweet, syrup-covered waffles are a welcome treat at brunch too, but having a buttery, crisp waffle without the sugar was a fun change of pace. One other suggestion from the book was to offer these with various toppings in a build-your-own setup for a party. I like that idea too, and I’m already thinking of more topping ideas.