Monday, June 12, 2017

Father's Day Waffles with Cardamom-Vanilla Strawberry Rhubarb Compote & Whipped Coconut Cream

Father's Day Waffles with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote & Whipped Coconut Cream // Loves Food, Loves to EatMy dad occasionally visits me in my dreams. In the beginning, I had these dreams much more frequently. They’re so vivid and real, he’s so vivid and real, that in the rawness of fresh grief, they were devastating to wake from. My dad has been gone almost three years (this August) and while I still wake tearful, with the scar of loss newly opened once more, his dream visits have started to feel like something else. Like a gift. Like an extra, stolen moment of time I get to spend with my dad, however fleeting. 

Father's Day Waffles with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote & Whipped Coconut Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Earlier this week, just before I woke, I dreamt that we were in the kitchen, talking. He was bebopping around, stirring this and tasting that, as he was wont to do, and we just chatted, about nothing significant. He was there, his face, his personality, his voice. He was real and alive. And then I woke up. I hadn’t had one of these visits in a while, and my morning got off to a rough and fuzzy start, as I tried to go to back to sleep, to will him to return, with tears on my cheeks. But he didn’t return, and I eventually embraced his gift for what it was, got up and took a cup of coffee and the cat outside to the patio. And there, I noticed a tiny bit of green popping out of the dirt for the first time—one of the irises my mom dug up from my childhood home had finally started to grow… I had almost given up hope! Those irises were my dad’s favorite flowers. An absolute gift indeed. 

Father's Day Waffles with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote & Whipped Coconut Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat A month ago, I suggested a revolution: waffle brunches for Father’s Day! So here I am, carrying the torch. My dad would have loved nothing more than waffles and a big bouquet of freshly cut flowers on his special day. These waffles are pretty simple and straightforward, with the addition of whipped egg whites which make them a bit lighter and more airy. I think there are two kinds of waffle people: the ones who like a big, tall Belgian waffle with large deep holes and crisp exterior, and the ones who like a thin, light, slightly crisp on the outside but mostly chewy waffle, with lots of tiny holes. I’m the latter, and so are these waffles. If you’re in waffle camp #1, feel free to sub in your favorite waffle recipe as the base. Regardless, we’re topping them with a rhubarb and strawberry compote, flavored with cardamom and vanilla, and a big dollop of coconut whipped cream, because we’re either sharing these with dads or, for any number of reasons, eating our feelings on Father’s Day, and either option calls for a big dollop of whipped cream. 

Father's Day Waffles with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote & Whipped Coconut Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Father's Day waffles 
with strawberry rhubarb compote & whipped coconut cream 
Waffle recipe adapted from here. Makes 4-6 waffles (I have this waffle iron).
Notes: the coconut milk needs to chill overnight before whipping the cream, so be sure to get a head start. 

1 cup all purpose flour
1.5 T sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk
2 large eggs, separated
4 T melted butter (unsalted)

To serve:
Maple syrup or honey
Strawberry Rhubarb Compote (below)
Whipped coconut cream (below)
finely chopped pistachios

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together milk and egg yolks. Pour wet ingredients into dry, and gently stir, don’t over mix. Add butter, and gently stir to combine, again, don’t over mix—it’s ok if there are a few lumps. In a separate, clean bowl, with an electric mixer, beat egg whites until peaks form, and very gently fold into batter. Let rest while waffle iron heats up. Cook waffles according to waffle iron instructions.

To serve, top with a drizzle of syrup or honey, a big spoonful of the compote and coconut cream, and a sprinkle of pistachios.

whipped coconut cream 
Notes: the unopened can of coconut milk needs to chill overnight so the cream fully separates from the liquid, so be sure to get a head start. 

1 can full fat coconut milk
1 T powdered/confectioners sugar

Place can, unopened, in fridge overnight. When ready to make, open can, and drain the liquid + scoop out the solid cream, being careful not to mix with the liquid. Add the solid cream to a bowl or stand mixer, and beat on high until light peaks form. Add sugar, and beat until combined.

strawberry rhubarb compote with cardamom and vanilla 
Fills 2 pint jars 

4 cups sliced/chopped rhubarb (about 5 big stalks)
1 cup sliced strawberries
Scant 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (I used vanilla paste)
4 cardamom pods—shell and lightly 
grind the inner parts (with mortar 
and pestle)
Pinch salt
Juice from 1 baby lemon (or 1/2 regular sized lemon)

Add all ingredients to a pot over medium heat. Stir to combine, and let cook until everything starts to soften and break down, about 5 minutes. Cover, and lower heat to simmer for about 5-10 minutes, until you have a loose jammy consistency.

Use right away warm, or remove from heat, cool to room temp, put in jars, and store in refrigerator.

Father's Day Waffles with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote & Whipped Coconut Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
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