Thursday, November 14, 2013

TWO ideas here, First, Gravy. Then another waffle maker experiment... the STUFFLE! (coined by the teenager), Stuffing, cooked in the waffle maker... you won't believe this

*shhhh, quick addendum:  cornbread muffin mix in the waffle maker, serve it, covered in taco beef, served with sour cream, cheese and avocado with salad, seriously, yeah, I did it.

Back to your regularly scheduled post: 

First, I make good gravy.  I make it from scratch whenever I want gravy.  I keep three jars of fat in my freezer, beef, chicken and goose.  I can make gravy from any of those at any moment in time.  That's why so many of my recipes tell you to cook the fat, strain the fat, gather the fat and keep it!

I have been asked more than a few times about gravy, since I had a brilliant kitchen epiphany and was going to be needing gravy, I decided to do the pics and run a quick instruction for those who have asked for it.

Today, I had a wacky idea this morning about what other use I could find for my Waring Pro Waffle Maker and I was hit with an idea.  If I can cook batter and dough then why can't I cook stuffing??

Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away and I was thinking about the menu and when I thought about the stuffing it hit me... toss it in the waffle maker and make stuffing waffles!!  **Connor coined the phrase, "it's a STUFFLE!".  SO, when I decided I was going to make the stuffle, I knew I was going to need gravy.  So, first the gravy.

There are NO amounts, this isn't a recipe, it's a method.  It's not necessarily the only method, it's my mother's method and now it's my method.  I don't ever make gravy any other way.  There's no need to.  Do this a couple of times and you'll be a gravy making wonder of the world!

Ok, on to it...


You will need
salt and pepper
herbs if you like, thyme or sage or whatever you like
(purely options: other flavors, you'll see what I mean)

IN a saucepan, put some fat and an equal amount of flour.  This is probably 2 Tbsp but don't worry about measuring, just do equal amounts.  

Fry it around, stirring, until it's almost the color of peanut butter.  You can take it further, I don't. So, if you're claiming it's my method then stop when it's peanut butter.   When it's the color you like, pour a couple of cups of stock/water/vegetable liquid into the pot, all at once.  I watch TV shows where they describe in painful detail how you MUST add hot liquid or you MUST add a drop at a time to avoid lumps.  GOOD GRIEF, no.  Just dump it in and whisk, trust me, I have never had a lump in my life and neither will you, I promise.
Stand back, it boils up like hell.  Whisk it until it's gorgeous and comes back to the boil.  THERE, how easy was THAT?  Now then, gravy needs a little time to go from gravy to amazing gravy.  

Add some salt, some pepper, whatever else it needs, a little sugar? some thyme?  Adjust at will.  THE one and only trick to gravy is TASTE IT!  Adjust as you go, it'll condense, thicken, the flavors will intensify and will mellow.  Taste and futz, that's the way to good gravy.  

I have a little trick that I do at this point, I add a carrot, cut up and a green onion.  They add flavor and can be removed and then EATEN while I do other things.  Cooks treat.  Do it.
Here is my carrot and one green onion into the gravy.  Leave it to simmer, on low, until the veggies are cooked and the gravy is done.  Feel free to add stock/water as needed to keep it the consistency you like.
oh, here's the bread I made this morning.  It just got transferred into the array so I kept it here.  It's my skinny baguette dough, made the night before but instead of making baguettes, I made a boule and cooked it in a covered cast iron dutch oven.  Yummy.  But, as usual, I digress

The gravy is done and you can turn it off, eat the carrots right away or put it in the fridge for another time.  I put mine on the back burner, off, to wait for me to deal with the weird kitchen alchemy of the stuffing waffle. 

TRACY'S STUFFLE *yeah, it's stuffing cooked in a waffle maker

I bought a box stuffing mix for the experiment.  I have never tried a box stuffing.  I think they are awful and you shouldn't use them.  However, some people LIKE them, in which case this is a killer method for making stuffing for one, or two, or a bunch of people.  I think it is the absolute perfect leftover turkey vehicle.  Cook stuffing in the waffle maker, serve it up with sliced turkey and gravy all over it.  Like an open face, hot turkey sandwich but on a Stuffle HAHAHA  ok, look at this: 

Make the stuffing according to box directions.  Boil water with butter/margarine, add the seasoning mix (which tastes like ramen!) and boil, then cover and simmer for 5.
After 5 minutes, put in the bread crumbs, cover and leave for 5
Fluff with a fork and that's it.  I left mine on the counter, uncovered, to cool for about half an hour.
The stuffing cooled down so I added an egg and beat it around a bit.  I thought it was a bit wet so I added a handful of fresh breadcrumbs.
OK, here's the test!  I preheated the Waring Pro Professional Belgian Waffle Maker and dumped almost half the mixture onto the grids.  Closed it, spun it and waited.

I love this waffle maker.  I love that it doesn't lose temperature, that you can just close and spin it again and it'll keep cooking, that you can check, yeah, there's nothing here that isn't pretty sweet.  I've had other waffle makers, my last one, the Cuisinart, never liked being messed with.  The Waring, it plays nicely with others, like me, who want to do OTHER things besides waffles and who actually cook with this appliance.  Yeah, I like it.
I cannot WAIT to open this thing..... 

NO WAY!!!  HAHAHAHAHA  It's a STUFFLE!  A stuffing waffle!  What a riot!  I closed the lid and cooked it another minute or so to darken it up and crisp it more...  HAHAHAH  This is cracking me up!
OH and back to the gravy.  Oh MAN, you can fill channels and nooks and crannies with gravy! There isn't anything about this I don't love.
I'll be honest, that's not entirely true.  I don't love the stuffing.  I FULLY intend on making this with my own, homemade stuffing.  The method is sound, the stuffing cooks crisp on the outside and still soft and totally like stuffing on the inside and there's waffle crevices of gravy.  I mean, really.
I piled the rest of the stuffing in the waffle maker and ran it through two cycles.  I pulled it out and it's cooling to see how it reheats. 
**it reheats beautifully!  I threw it into the toaster oven and it crisped up again absolutely fabulous.   

I think the Stuffle is the perfect stuffing.  It's compact, easy, freezable, re-heatable.  It's perfectly shaped and perfectly balanced to hold the perfect amount of gravy.  If I lived alone, I would ABSOLUTELY do this for holidays or any time.  

I am going to do this as my leftover thanksgiving meal.  A stuffle with sliced turkey, maybe a little leftover veggie and smother the whole thing in gravy.  It's the same but different. 

Go and make yourself a Stuffle (thanks Connor for the name, it's a keeper!  We may start a whole new trend here!!  STUFFLES FOR EVERYONE!)


1 comment:

  1. Tracy, you make gravy the way I do. When I was new to cooking I attempted to just throw the flour into the pan of water and drippings and it came out with massive amounts of lumps. I discovered the secret is to make a roux, just as you did with the fat and flour, add water (hot, cold, your choice) after it is the color of peanut butter and whisk well. 'Back in the day' we did not have whisks that are anything like what we have today. I used something similar to a pasta fork and it worked just fine. In fact, I use my pasta fork for so many things that I replace it quite often because it wears out!

    Also, wanted to let you know that I am, as we speak, roasting my turkey in the countertop oven. It should be done in about 20 minutes and go to resting time. I bought one of the last fresh turkeys yesterday for $.39/lb at my local market, Fareway. Their store brand turkeys are the best! I had a discussion with the butcher who said, "as long as you don't use the pop-up timer to determine when your turkey is done, you are fine. They are calibrated at 180 degrees F and your turkey will be so dry it is sawdust." I never thought about it before and made my turkey your way for Thanksgiving, ignoring the pop up timer. Turns out the turkey was moist, juicy and fabulous. It also cooked far quicker than I am used to. This made the oven available for all of the other stuff and nothing had to wait and be reheated for dinner. I roast turkeys all the time as I not only love the taste, I also love the leftovers. Thanks for speeding up my dinner so I can eat it for lunch AND serve it for dinner. When turkey is just for Wednesday dinner rather than for special occasions, it not about the presentation, it is about the taste and the reduced time to get there!