There is a debate between waffle days: National Waffle Day is on August 24th. That’s when the first waffle iron was patented in the U.S. On March 24th or 25th (depending on which article you read) people celebrate International Waffle Day, mostly in Sweden. I’m Scandinavian, I like waffles, we’d celebrate with the March date.
I was making breakfast for supper. I was going to need a protein, possibly breakfast sausage as my P.S. is a meat kinda guy. The waffles I was craving were the cornmeal waffles I’ve posted previously. We eat them smothered with chili and cheese. I would smother them with a sausage gravy this time!
I won’t repost the cornmeal waffles, you can take the link to the page with the recipes and pictures. I did the usual mix the wet ingredients together, whisk the dry ingredients together, then pour the wet into the dry and mix again.
Digging through a cupboard earlier I’d come across a tub of Craisins and thought they’d be perfect in the waffles for a pop of flavor here and there. The waffles don’t contain sugar, relying on the cornmeal’s natural sweetness to carry the show. I thought a little help from some Craisins would be wise. I chopped about 1/2 cup of finer then stirred them into the waffle batter.
I turned the oven on to 300 degrees F and put a rack on a half sheet pan on the top rack of the oven. I’d place the waffles on the rack as they finished to keep them warm and crispy on both sides. As the waffles were finished in the waffle iron I placed each one in the oven on the rack.
While the waffles were baking I fried up the country sausage until it was caramelized and browned. The best flavor is when you fry until the sausage has that delicious brown sear.
Once the meat was brown and broken up into smaller pieces with a spatula, I melted the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter into the skillet then added 4 tablespoons of flour and cooked it 3 – 4 minutes until the raw flour flavor was cooked out. Usually I do equal amounts of butter and flour for a roux but there were some drippings from the sausage in the pan already to equal about a tablespoon of grease.
I added 3 cups of milk to the skillet and stirred it slowly over medium high heat with a silicone spatula until it began to thicken.. I added the garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. I turned the heat down to medium low and let it bubble while the waffles finished cooking.
I ended up with 5 waffles out of the batter. My first couple were somewhat bigger and the last ones were a bit smaller. I’m never very consistent on that; they are what they are. I served us each a waffle covered with the sausage gravy and they were delicious. They were the perfect meal for dinner on International Waffle Day.
I loved the Craisins as a sort of surprise pop of flavor in each bite. The waffles themselves were like crispy cornbread with a soft interior. The sausage gravy with its strong black pepper seasoning was a creamy and much more interesting topping than using maple syrup on the waffles.
As I served my P.S. one loaded waffle, I told him he could help himself to a second one. After we’d finished our waffles we both agreed they were very heartly waffles, one was filling in itself. Nobody had seconds, but we had great leftovers for another day.
Cornbread Craisin Waffles with Sausage Gravy
1 recipe cornmeal waffles
½ cup Craisins
1# country sausage (I used the in-store made breakfast sausage)
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place sheet pan covered with a metal rack on the middle rack in the oven.
Prepare waffle batter according to recipe link. Stir in Craisins. Cook waffles on a round Belgian waffle maker one at a time, placing finished waffles in the oven to keep warm. If using a traditional waffle iron (square) you may get fewer waffles.
While waffles are cooking sear the sausage in a nonstick skillet on medium high until very brown in places. Break into smaller pieces. Melt 3 tablespoons butter then stir in 4 tablespoons of flour. Cook for several minutes, stirring often, until the raw flour flavor is cooked out.
Add 3 cups milk to the skillet and stir until it begins to thicken. Add garlic powder, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and let bubble, stirring occasionally, until waffles are ready. Taste test for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as desired.
Serve waffles covered with sausage gravy.