What a beautiful bottle of hot sauce! I salivated upon opening the box Hot Licks® recently sent me, featuring, among other delicious products, Ring of Fire Habanero Hot Sauce.
Of course - I did the mandatory finger taste, and found the sauce to be a combination of tangy, fiery and even a little garlicky. It's a bold blend that only Hot Licks® can bring to the table.
That night we tried it with ground beef tacos, Spanish rice and refried beans, and loved it. It was the perfect zing we needed to ramp up our dinner.
But...couldn't I do better than tacos? If you've kept up with the blog than you know there's nothing I love more than discovering an unusual, delicious way to use Hot Licks® products. Today is no exception.
I've been reading a lot about the Southern phenomena of fried chicken and waffles. There've been some chefs out there that have taken the waffle to new, savory places, and while I'd never had the courage to try a savory waffle myself - tonight felt like the perfect time to start playing.
What if, I wondered, I made a sugarless waffle batter and added a good splash of Ring of Fire to the mix? Would it work? And most importantly - would it taste good?
You'll have to keep reading to find the conclusion to this story.
Hoppin' Habanero Waffles - Serves 4
1 cup of all-purpose white flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of buttermilk
1/4 cup of Hot Licks® Ring of Fire Habanero Hot Sauce
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of melted butter (I used salted - you can use either unsalted or salted, but please, no margarine!)1 teaspoon of whole cumin seeds (optional)
DirectionsSift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add the salt.
Crack an egg into the flour mixture. But don't stir it yet!
Measure out 3/4 cup of buttermilk. You'll notice in my picture I only measured 1/2 a cup. This was a little bit of a mistake - as I'll explain later. But for now - just know I took one for the team!
To the buttermilk, add 1/4 cup of Hot Licks® Ring of Fire Habanero Hot Sauce. When the measurement reaches 1 cup - you know you're done. In my case - I did 50/50 buttermilk and hot sauce. Unless you like a LOT of heat in your food, I recommend using the 75% buttermilk to 25% hot sauce ratio.
Now, melt half a stick of butter in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Watch it though - butter is notorious for melting over the edges and making a big slippery mess. Set it aside to cool for a minute or two once it's melted.
Now - add your buttermilk/hot sauce mixture to the egg and flour. Stir to combine, and then add in your melted butter. Keep whisking until it's smooth. Right at this stage I got the idea to add in a teaspoon of whole cumin seeds to the batter. I love cumin and any excuse to add it to a dish works for me. If you don't like cumin - leave it out.
I should have told you to turn on your waffle maker and get it hot. Sorry. Do that now. It's actually good to let your waffle batter sit for up to 30 minutes before cooking with it so that the waffles come really light and fluffy. I can only wait about 5 minutes before I get started - so you do what you're comfortable with.
Once your waffle iron is hot and ready (hmmm...) it's time to drop your batter. I used a full 1/2 cup and did not use any butter or spray on the iron. My iron is non-stick and I feel like the waffles turn out fluffier without greasing the iron. Why? Well - I think it has to do with the waffle's ability to climb up the iron as it fluffs, if the sides are greasy - it has nothing to grip - and then you end up with a flatter waffle than you'd wanted. I know it sounds crazy - but trust me, it works.
Cook the waffle until your iron says it's done. Here's what you'll get:
It looks just like a waffle, right? Well, that's because it IS a waffle. Duh.
Now - what on earth do you do with a spicy, savory waffle? My first thought was an old stand-by favorite. Refried beans and melted cheese. Yeah, I did it.
I was scared. I had no clue if this was even going to taste good. My sons were brave enough to take the first bite.
The verdict? DELICIOUS. They said it tasted like a big soft, spicy tortilla, with crisp edges. Here's the proof:
Those were the bites they were kind enough to leave for me. Now - on a side note, these waffles were extremely spicy! That is why in the recipe I am presenting you - I reduced the amount of hot sauce and increased the amount of buttermilk used. I tested the recipe with that ratio and found the heat level to be much milder - but with the spicy kick I was still going for.
Okay - now's the part I'm really excited for. I was sharing my spicy waffle success on Facebook and my dad Scott had an amazing idea. Why not put a fried egg on top?
Oh. My. Goodness. Why hadn't I thought of that? I definitely see where I got my creativity from!
I fried an egg exactly how I like it - perfectly cooked whites with a super runny yolk center. Then - I placed it on top of a freshly ironed waffle.
I let the butter in the pan drizzle over the egg and the waffle too. Here's the food-love close up. See that golden yolk? Guess what that waffle did? It soaked the creamy yolk right up like a sponge and delivered it to my mouth with nothing short of pure ecstacy. Oh dear - this was absolutely heaven.
My husband just asked me why we didn't serve the egg with some super thick slices of crisp bacon. I had the biggest blank look on my face. I had no clue why. But that is definitely going on the waffles next time. Bacon makes everything better!
So there you have it. I made waffles with Hot Licks® Ring of Fire Habanero Hot Sauce and I LIKED IT. And better yet - I think you will too!
You can find this delicious hot sauce and others at: Hot Licks®