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Croque Madame Waffles
Prep Time: 10 minutes (not including time to hard-boil eggs) cook time: about 30 minutes yield: 8 servings waffles
8 large eggs
4 hard-boiled eggs
½ cup powdered Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup ghee or coconut oil, melted but not hot mornay sauce
½ cup beef or chicken bone broth, homemade (here) or store-bought
½ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
1 ounce cream cheese (2 tablespoons) 1 cup shredded Gruyère or cheddar cheese
teaspoon fine sea salt sandwich fillings
12 slices ham
½ cup shredded Gruyère or cheddar cheese 4 large eggs
1 teaspoon ghee or unsalted butter for garnish (optional) Ground black pepper
Fresh thyme leaves
To make the waffles, heat a waffle iron to high heat. Place the raw eggs, hard-boiled eggs, Parmesan cheese, baking powder, onion powder (if using) , and salt in a blender or food processor and combine until smooth and thick. Add the melted ghee and combine well.
Grease the hot waffle iron. Place a heaping ¼ cup of the batter in the center of the iron and close. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Repeat with the remaining batter, making a total of 8 waffles.
To make the Mornay sauce, place the broth, butter, cream cheese, and shredded cheese in a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking often, just until the cheese is melted. Add the salt, then slide the pan off the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend until very smooth (or transfer the mixture to a countertop blender and blend until smooth) ; set aside.
When you are ready to make the Croques
Madames, preheat the oven to broil. Place the waffles on a rimmed baking sheet. Top 4 of the waffles with 3 slices of ham and 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese each. Set aside.
To fry the eggs, heat the ghee in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When hot, crack the 4 eggs into the pan and fry on one side for about 2 minutes, until the whites are cooked and the yolks are still runny. Place the waffles under the broiler at this point (see Step 6) . Season the eggs with salt and pepper and remove the skillet from the heat.
While the eggs are cooking, broil the waffles for 1 to 2 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the waffles are warm.
To assemble the Croques Madames, place 1 ham and cheese–topped waffle on a serving plate. Top with a plain waffle, then add a sunny-side-up egg and smother with Mornay sauce. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and garnish with thyme leaves, if desired. Repeat with the remaining waffles, eggs, and Mornay sauce.
Store plain waffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat the waffles in a preheated 375°F oven or toaster oven for 3 minutes or until warmed through. Store the Mornay sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days; it will thicken overnight.
Reheat the sauce in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until warm, about 2 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of broth if the sauce is too thick. tip: The waffles and Mornay sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. The waffles can be frozen for up to a month.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffles
Prep Time: 5 minutes, plus at least 3 hours to chill yield: 8 truffles (1 per serving) 5 ounces cream cheese (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons) (Kite Hill brand cream cheese style spread if dairy-free) , softened
½ cup Swerve confectioners’-style sweetener or equivalent amount of liquid or powdered sweetener (see here) 1 to 2 teaspoons unsweetened cashew milk or hemp milk, warmed
½ cup pecan meal or almond meal
2 tablespoons fresh or canned pumpkin puree
teaspoon pumpkin pie spice ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons crushed walnuts or pili nuts, for garnish (optional) Pinch of ground nutmeg, for garnish
Place the cream cheese and sweetener in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer until smooth. Remove 2 tablespoons of the sweetened cream cheese and place it in a small bowl for the topping. Add a teaspoon of warm cashew milk to thin the topping and mix until smooth. If it’s still too thick, add another teaspoon of milk. Transfer the topping to a small resealable plastic bag or piping bag and set in the refrigerator.
Add the pecan meal, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon to the bowl with the remaining sweetened cream cheese and beat with the hand mixer on high speed until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Using a mini ice cream scooper or spoon, scoop out 1-inch balls of the pumpkin cheesecake mixture. Place the balls on a serving platter. Cut a tiny hole in the corner of the plastic bag with the topping and drizzle each truffle with a little bit of the topping. Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, if desired, and a touch of nutmeg. Serve chilled.
Store extras in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freezing is not recommended. tip: I used leftover pumpkin puree that I had in my freezer, which had a bit of liquid in the container. If you use frozen puree, make sure to drain the excess liquid or the truffles will be too soft.