Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Waffling Leftovers: "Red Salad"

Today's random leftovers waffling adventure is another pretty strange one, even I'll admit this.   If the concept of waffling things that aren't waffle batter is new to you, you might want to start with my master post, and then return here.
"Red Salad" Transformation.
This time, I started with leftover ... salad.  Yes, the concept of me waffling salad is not actually new, as you read about last week.  Or the time I waffled peaches from an heirloom tomato, stone fruit, and burrata salad.

But this was a particularly interesting salad, dubbed "Red Salad".  More on this soon.

But first, the burning question.

Will it Waffle: Leftover "Red Salad"?  Actually, yes.
The Original: "Red Salad".
So first, the original.  A salad, but not one that has any greens.  A nice winter salad.

The base is a mix of shredded red cabbage, red onions, and red beets.  Hence the name.  All raw.  It is dressed with simple balsamic and olive oil.  Also in the mix is chervil and capers.  It is normally served with creme fraiche on the side, but, our chef mixed it all in this time (which, to be honest, just wasn't nearly as successful.  Don't do that.).  The recipe actually says, "Next to this, nustle your blob of crème fraîche as if the two ingredients were good friends, not on top of each other as if they were lovers."  I greatly prefer this, uh, nustling, as it allows you to mix in a little creaminess when you want it, and just appreciate the assertive crisp raw veggies when you don't.  This version was more like a cole slaw.

So where does such a strange sounding recipe come from?  The recipe is actually that of Chef Fergus Henderson, a highly regarded Michelin star chef, in his cookbook Beyond Nose to Tail: More Omnivorous Recipes for the Adventurous Cook.  

This salad is usually a favorite of mine, but, I think due to the mixing in of the cream fraiche, it wasn't a winner this time, and we had lots leftover.
Leftover "Red Salad".
I tried some leftovers the next day, hoping maybe I'd like it more now that my expectations were adjusted, and, now that the flavors had melded a bit more.

But, it still was just like cole slaw, was too creamy/rich, and just not really good.  And I like cole slaw, and I love rich things.  This just wasn't working for me.
Into the waffle iron ...
Rather than throw it out, you know what I did of course.

Switched on the waffle iron, 350 degrees.
"Waffled" "Red Salad".
I forgot to take a final photo, so I'll have to describe the transformation instead.

It worked.  The creme fraiche mostly cooked out, so the creamy rich aspect that wasn't doing it for me was removed.

The cabbage transformed the least, basically, just warm cabbage, which was fine, but not particularly interesting.

The red onion, originally harsh raw red onion, turned into grilled onion.  Um, always a good thing.

The shredded beet was the biggest surprise, I think because it was shredded more finely than the other items it cooked more, and turned into crispy beet strips, like, beet chips.  I actually *really* liked the beets.

Put it all together, and it was a mix of flavors and textures that kinda worked.  Was it amazing?  Nah.  But it was much, much better than the original, and I was glad I tried it.

So yes, it "waffled".
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