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Recipe for savory Southwest cornmeal waffles {vegetarian}

Savory Southest cornmeal waffles, with fried egg and salsa.

In the house where I grew up, my dad took charge of weekend breakfasts. Every Saturday, he made challah French toast, with rich, eggy bread left over from Friday night dinner. The surprises came on Sundays, from a repertoire that included "spit in the ocean", fried eggs and salami, and eggs scrambled with cheese or, if we were very lucky, leftover spaghetti and meatballs. I still eat eggs for breakfast on most mornings, and I like something sturdy to hold them up. When Cousin Martin visited a few weeks ago, we made these savory Southwest cornmeal waffles with red cornmeal from Rhode Island's iconic Kenyon's Grist Mill. I much prefer heat to sweet for breakfast, so we topped our slightly crunchy waffles with fried eggs and some spicy habañero salsa. You could go the maple syrup route, too.

Southwest cornmeal waffles. Breakfast or lunch!

Savory Southwest cornmeal waffles

From the pantry, you'll need: powdered buttermilk (or fresh), eggs, all-purpose unbleached flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, ground cumin, cooking spray.

Slightly adapted from this recipe for crunchy cornmeal waffles from King Arthur Flour. Makes 10 waffles.


1-3/4 cups buttermilk (powdered, mixed with water according to package directions, or fresh)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable or rice bran oil
1-1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup red cornmeal (or use yellow or blue cornmeal)
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
2-3 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground chipotle pepper powder, or 1/4 tsp hot sauce
2 Tbsp minced fresh chives
Cooking spray


In a medium size bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and oil.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cumin and chipotle powder, then gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Fold in the fresh chives, and stir everything together with a rubber spatula.

Let the batter sit for 10 minutes at room temperature, and preheat your waffle maker to 400°F.

When the waffle maker is hot, pour 1 cup of batter into the center and spread. Cook for 3 minutes, until lightly browned on both sides. Repeat until all batter is cooked.

Serve topped with a fried egg and your favorite salsa.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More not-plain-old waffle recipes:
Pumpkin banana waffles, from The Perfect Pantry
Zucchini waffles, from The Perfect Pantry
Gluten-free buttermilk waffles, from Urban Baker
Crispy buttermilk-Cheddar waffles with kielbasa maple syrup, from Vanilla Sugar Blog

Southwest cornmeal waffles, crunchy on the outside.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


This recipe sounds brilliant! You and Cousin Martin must have enjoyed a lovely breakfast to be sure. I'm going to try this one out for my spouse when he returns. He loves spicy, and he loves eggs + something (waffles, pancakes, hash browns) for breakfast.

Spit in the ocean really intrigues me, though--what's in it?

My mom makes something she calls "don't ask" but it's usually good.

Kirsten, "spit in the ocean" is what others call egg-in-a-hole. A piece of bread with a hole cut out, and the egg fried inside. My dad picked up that term while he was in the army.

So, first -- I think you should "update" your dad's recipe for "spit in the ocean." I know a little girl who would just love the option of salami for breakfast. I've never made waffles with cornmeal - but that sounds like something I must try. I'll probably have to substitute yellow cornmeal, until I can make that road trip to Rhode Island for the red variety.

TW, my dad used to make something else -- no special name that I can recall -- that involved slices of salami in a sea of scrambled eggs, all cooked in a single layer in an electric frying pan. The salami would get warm and curl up at the edges, and that was the best part. (And you can order the red cornmeal from Kenyon's online, though a visit to the grist mill would be much more fun!)

I like the idea of savory waffles!

I ZipListed this one and will experiment to adapt it to to gluten-free. I plan to try a combo of garbanzo, almond meal and GF baking mix to make it lower glycemic too.

I clicked the Kenyon's link and found that they're having a Johnnycake Festival. How about a Pantry meet up there -- 10/19-20? (and how about that 'h'? I thought that was against the law in RI.)
My father also made 'Salami and Eggs.' The Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook has the recipe by that name -- as if you needed a recipe.
Mmm, red cornmeal -- even without the chile taste, how appropriate.
Buttermilk, corn meal -- must try delicious!

Kalyn, me too!

Mary, please let me know how that works out. Other readers will want to try a gluten-free version.

Susan, please come! My co-author of Rhode Island Recipes and I will be there, signing books, both days!

I need to play more with the Kenyon's blue and red varieties of cornmeal!

Love these waffles. I have made them and topped them with chili and grated cheese. Your egg makes them perfect for breakfast!

Wow that looks so good.

how funny I made "eggs in a hole" for husband this very morning!
(oh my dad liked to fry bologna!)

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