All-American Waffle Burger

Recently I was talking burgers and breakfast with this dude I used to work with… and I got to thinking: if you were doing a burger joint, how awesome would waffle burgers be?

The idea hung around, so I’ve been writing a bunch of different waffle burgers and thinking about the components that would be most important. For example, sometimes you get a sandwich that’s all meat and no bread (or vice versa), but with a light and airy yet hearty waffle, you could have a burger that’s just the right balance.

For our first blog post, I decided to try a simple yet classic All-American style because it’s pretty much a burger staple wherever you go. And rather than just slapping some mustard or some pickles on to a burger, I decided to incorporate those American classic components in a unique way: that’s why I start off with a pickle waffle.

Yep, a pickle waffle. I minced the pickles as small as I could get them (you don’t want big chunks in your waffle; you want a nice, even mix throughout the batter), but the flavors I wanted were right there.

And I know when people think of waffles they think sweetness, so I made a real maple ketchup to tie the two together using tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and a little bit of lemon juice. It turned out really nice, if I say so myself.

I love making homemade fries, so I also made two different styles to go along with the burger using an Asian white sweet potato and a regular old sweet potato. Both were delicious! The Asian white is less sweet and more like a traditional fry; the flesh has a maroon color and the inside is a yellow-white so the contrast turns out nice in presentation. In the end, I thought they looked better and they had a nicer cut.

Turning the waffles into “buns” was interesting. Initially, I split the waffle in half by cutting it down the middle. The only problem with this method is the waffle can fall apart easily — especially once you add the burger and toppings (it tends to get soggy if you don’t eat it right away).

I’d recommend doing two quarter waffles as “buns.” I’ve got a deep Belgian style waffle iron, so the end product was big and fluffy like I wanted.

makes 8 sliders

To prepare the waffles:

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 5 pickles, minced

Sift together flours, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well and pour in milk, egg, and melted butter. Incorporate minced pickles. Mix until smooth. When using a waffle iron, follow settings to create a waffle to your liking. Once cooled, separate into quarters and set aside.

To prepare fries:

  • 4 small Asian white sweet potatoes
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil

Wash potatoes first. Cut into thin planks and then julienne into fries. Blanch fries in oil at 250 degrees for 5 minutes. Let drain on paper towels. Fry at 350 degrees until golden brown. Sprinkle with coarse salt.

To prepare the burger:

  • 1 ½ lb of 80/20 ground chuck
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of American cheese, cut in half
  • 4 slices of Swiss Cheese, cut in half

Take raw ground chuck and form small slider burgers (roughly 3 oz. each). Sprinkle with salt and pepper before pan searing in a lightly oiled pan until desired temperature. Top with cheese and melt.

To prepare ketchup:

  • ½ can tomato paste
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Combine tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and lemon juice in bowl. Whisk until you achieve a smooth consistency.

To prepare greens:

  • 1 full bunch of mustard greens
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Chiffonade mustard greens. Combine with mustards, salt and pepper and then sauté in olive oil until lightly wilted.

To assemble:

Put together ingredients like a traditional burger: starting with the waffle “buns,” followed by mustard greens, tomato (2 medium-sized tomatoes sliced thin should do), burger, and ketchup. Enjoy!



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