Let’s hear it for pimento cheese, that quintessential Southern appetizer of delicious cheddar made tastier and spreadable via mayo and cream cheese and flavored with pimentos and…well, anything else. It’s also incredibly versatile — check out Pimento Cheese, the new cookbook from Perre Coleman Magness, author of blog The Runaway Spoon. Welcome to the marriage of two beautiful things: waffles and pimento cheese.
Crispy, cheesy waffles with salty bacon and a swirl of sweet, peppery syrup make a super Southern breakfast treat.
- 2 (4-ounce) jars sliced pimentos, with their liquid
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces sharp orange cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 (2-ounce) jar diced pimentos, rinsed and drained
- 1 pound sliced bacon, cooked until crisp, for serving
For the syrup:
- Put the pimentos with their liquid, sugar, water and vinegar into a high-sided medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Carefully pour the mixture into a blender, vent the lid, and holding the lid down by covering it with a folded tea towel, purée the mixture until smooth.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat and let it bubble away, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced by half and is thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes.
- Cool in the pan, then transfer to a jar. The syrup will keep in the fridge for a week; just bring it to room temperature before serving.
For the waffles:
- Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl, then beat in the buttermilk and butter.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir until just combined.
- Fold in the cheese and pimentos until they are evenly distributed through the batter.
- Heat a waffle iron, and cook the waffles according to the manufacturers’ instructions.
- Serve the waffles warm with a few strips of bacon on top, drizzled with the pimento syrup.
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