What’s a waffle burger? Well, that’s a waffle burger.
So where’d it come from? Long story short, I was talking to this dude I used to work with about burgers and breakfast. After we were done talking, it hit me that “hey, if you’re a burger joint, you could do waffle burgers.” Best of both worlds, I think. Makes a lot of sense. When I brought the idea up with a fireman friend of mine, he started salivating at the mouth and said, “Man… that sounds bomb.” How could I not make it happen?
I think waffle burgers are, in fact, bomb because they’re so versatile. You can put anything in a waffle. People do it all the time! It’s not just me; I’d like to say I’m the most innovative man I know, but sadly, it’s not true. Everyone’s doing it. It’s just such a diverse product. Maybe someday I’ll see them in a restaurant; I know that would make me very happy.
Why do you I like the burger with it? A waffle is light and airy but still hearty enough to handle the meat. They work well together; better than I thought they would. It tasted great and ate well. Sometimes you get a sandwich that’s all meat and no bread (and vice versa) but this burger has a really nice balance.
I wrote up a bunch of different waffle burgers, but decided to try to the All-American first because that’s a burger staple wherever you go. I wanted to hit all the components of a classic All-American burger: pickles, mustard, ketchup, and cheese. That’s pretty much your basic burger. Some people don’t like other toppings such as onions (like my lady) so I just went traditional. When constructing the burger, I thought anyone can slap some mustard or some pickles onto a burger, so I really wanted to incorporate the components of an American burger in a unique way. That’s why I start off with a pickle waffle.
Yep, a pickle waffle. Traditional burger and sweet 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.
I know when you think of waffles you think sweet, so I made a maple ketchup, which ties the two together. I made a real simple homemade ketchup 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.
The burgers are pretty basic. I seasoned the patties with salt and pepper. Then I chose to pan sear them. You can grill ‘em if you want to, but I think searing them is a better way to go. It goes with the down-home griddle type feel of an All-American better.
I know people say you can’t have too much cheese but I think sometimes you can. I do like cheese though so I went with the American and Swiss.
I cut the mustard greens in a chiffonade style and tossed them in the mustard. (FYI: a chiffonade is basically when you roll up a leafy green vegetable and slice it as thin as you can possible get it.) I thought the mustard and mustard greens went together well since they have like flavored profiles. Then I sautéed the greens in a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.
I love making homemade fries, so I made two different styles. I used 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; I gotta say I like a shoestring fry every now and again.
Turning the waffles into “buns” was interesting. Initially, I split the waffle in half by cutting it down the middle. The only problem with that method is the waffle tends to fall apart easily at that point and 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.” This also will depend on what type of iron you have. I’ve got a deep Belgian style waffle iron, so the end product is bigger and fluffier. If you have a smaller, traditional waffle iron you’ll get a thinner waffle.
(bear with me, it’s got a lot of steps but definitely worth it)
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 melted butter
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 should do, sliced thin), burger, and ketchup. Enjoy!