Not a unitasker: The waffle maker

Back in July, the editor of messaged me and asked if I wanted an advanced copy of his new book. I responded with an enthusiastic “yes!” And then, in August, Will it Waffle? arrived.

Ever since, I’ve been trying out different recipes from Daniel Shumski’s book, and am now a devoted fan. My family loves the meals I’ve made from it, too, which says a great deal because they’re a bunch of picky eaters. The Zucchini-Parmesean Fritters are their favorite. (Its paperback list price is $14.95, but Amazon has it for less than $12 right now and the Kindle edition is less than $10.)

The premise of the cookbook is that when used only for waffles, your waffle maker is a unitasker, and people should typically avoid unitaskers. But, since a waffle maker is the only way to make fresh waffles at home, Shumski sought out ways to turn it into a multi-tasking appliance. His was a noble quest, and it’s refreshing that he succeeded. The cookbook contains more than 50 recipes to create on a waffle iron.

As you might expect, there are a handful of sandwich recipes in the book. A waffle maker and a panini press are quite similar, so this section of recipes is to be expected. (Not to say they’re boring recipes, because they are quite delicious. Family favorites are the ham and cheese melt with maple butter and the Cuban sandwich.)

What’s most impressive to me about the book are the recipes that you wouldn’t expect — for example, chicken fingers, wontons, crispy kale, tamale pie, pizza, soft cell crab, and steak. And, unlike in other preparations, most of these recipes don’t require consistent monitoring. You put the item on the waffle iron, set the timer, and simply wait until the item is done cooking. You’re free to make sauces or side dishes or set the table in the meantime.

Based on your model of waffle iron, cleanup afterward is also extremely convenient if your waffle iron has removable plates that can go in the dishwasher or a non-stick coating you can wipe down with a damp cloth and be done with it. I like easy, and all of the recipes I’ve tried and their cleanup were a breeze.

One of my favorite sections of the cookbook is about creating your own recipes for the waffle maker and, specifically, the listing of what won’t waffle. Foods requiring a lot of moisture, like rice, won’t work in a waffle maker and neither will things that have a lot of butter, like shortbread cookies. Then, obviously, foods like soup are out of the question. But, I was surprised by how much is able to be waffled and am glad Shumski provides this encouragement for creativity.

If you have a waffle maker and you’re interested in transforming it from a unitasker into a multi-tasker, check out Shumski’s book Will it Waffle? Then, start thinking about the other small appliances in your home and how you can put them to use in multiple ways.

8 Comments for “Not a unitasker: The waffle maker”

  1. posted by Dianne on

    Oooo… I love that Smitten kitchen just published a waffle latke recipe I now want a waffle maker!

  2. posted by infmom on

    I have never liked waffles. They usually end up cold, even in a restaurant, and I’m not a fan of cold waffles with congealed butter.

    But we do have a waffle maker, because we bought one with three interchangeable plates, and we use it for making panini. I’m not sure I still have the waffle plates, come to think of it. I’ll have to check on that.

  3. posted by PatGLex on

    On an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy Fieri visited a restaurant that had a stuffing waffle topped with turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and gravy — kind of a mini Thanksgiving dinner. I duplicated that (probably with not quite the same quality 😉 ) with cooked Stovetop stuffing put in the waffle maker; refrigerated potatoes that I microwaved; jarred gravy; the Oscar Meyer brand of carving board turkey breast; and a small can of cranberry sauce. And it was fabulous. 🙂 [I also tried cinnamon rolls in the wafflemaker; the leftovers were hockey pucks….]

  4. posted by Nana on

    If one has no waffle-maker, would a Foreman grill do the same work?

  5. posted by Scott on

    Soft Cell Crab — didn’t they sing Tainted Love (with a side of clarified butter)?

  6. posted by JC on

    Growing up my grandmother would make us turtle cookies on her waffle maker. We would beg and plead for them.

    I like shredded hashbrowns in the waffle maker. They are nice and crispy when the come out.

    infmom: Waffle day at our house is not a wait for everyone before eating day. Waffles are called (mine!) and consumed as they exit the maker. DH usually gets the first one, then DS and I share the next. By that time DH is ready for waffle #3 as it comes out. For a larger family or sit down meals, we’ve put the finished waffles in the oven to keep them warm.

  7. posted by prince hadia on

    great share post i like it………………….:)

  8. posted by dr waseem hashmi on

    nice admin………………..:)

Comments are closed.