Cooking with Caitlin: Waffles with pickled plums? Don't turn up your nose at this treat

CINCINNATI - WCPO is pleased to bring you food blogger Caitlin MacEachen Steininger, of Cooking with Caitlin,  as a contributor. She has been tickling the food fancy of her family and friends since third grade. Check back next Monday for a new recipe!

As if summer’s rainbow-splashed bounty is not enough, here’s another reason to head down to Findlay Market this week.

Make time to poke through the farmers’ super fresh offerings, or make a beeline to Daisy Mae’s Market stand for the perfect plums, herbs, and arugula. Grab a sleeve of hot, just-pressed waffles from Taste of Belgium, and a wheel of brie from Gibbs on your way out. Everything else you need to make this melty masterpiece is in your pantry waiting for you.

Pickled Plum (Taste of Belgium) Waffle Sandwiches

Quick-pickle the plums first. This recipe yields just enough for four waffle sandwiches, but you might want to double it right off the bat. Pickled plums are a deliciously surprising way to cut richness with sweet and sour. Use leftovers to crown a beef burger, crisp into a quesadilla with salty cheese, or finish a platter of simple crostini appetizers.

Pickled Plums

Ingredients

• 1 cup rice vinegar
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 tsp. salt
• 2 tsp. sugar
• 5 sprigs fresh thyme
• 5 slices fresh ginger
• 3 plums

Instructions

1. In a sauté pan combine the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, thyme, and ginger. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
2. While the liquid is boiling, halve, pit, and slice the plums into ¼-inch-thick slices. Place the plums in a bowl.
3. Once the sugar and salt have dissolved, remove the liquid from the heat and pour over the fresh plums. Let them sit and cool together.
4. Transfer to an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator.

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 5-10 minutes Yields: 2 cups

TIP: If you want more texture in the plums, cut them a little thicker and let the pickling liquid cool a bit before pouring it over the fruit.

Waffle Sandwiches

This baby isn’t the same without the waffles and the pickled plums. However, we invite you to play with the arugula and brie we’ve called for; consider mesclun greens or baby spinach, and creamy gorgonzola or bleu cheese. Or, ask the fine folks at Findlay for yummy suggestions. (Always tailor to your tastes until you l-o-v-e a recipe.)

Ingredients

• 4 Taste of Belgium waffles
• Pickled plums
• Fresh baby arugula
• Brie

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Assemble the sandwiches: Slice the waffles in half width-wise. Place the pickled plums on the bottom, top with slices of fresh Brie, and finish with a handful of cleaned baby arugula and the waffle top.

3. Place the waffles on a cookie sheet and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the waffles are warm.

4. Slice in half and serve hot.

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Yields: 4-8 portions

TIP: You can assemble the sandwiches in advance and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to warm and serve.

(Photos by Cara Hummel Photography)

 

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