• Make sure your waffle iron is hot. If it isn't, you end up with tougher waffles from longer cooking.
• Lightly grease the iron with cooking spray. Over-greasing will probably hurt your first waffle. Not greasing it will definitely ruin the first one!
• As each waffle is done, place it in the oven (set at 300°F) directly on the rack so that they stay crisp and don't get soggy.
• Don't cut back on the sugar - you need some to make the waffles brown.
Savory Herbed Waffles with Cheese Sauce
For the waffles
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3-4 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs
1/2 teaspoon lemon salt, or kosher salt
3 eggs, separated
1 cup fat-free or reduced-fat milk
3/4 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled
1 tablespoon sugar
For the cheese sauce
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups fat-free or reduced fat milk
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
freshly ground white pepper
freshly ground nutmeg
ground cayenne pepper
Heat a waffle iron to medium-high.
Combine the flour, baking powder, herbs and lemon salt in a large bowl. (I pulverized the herbs and salt together for better distribution.) Set aside.
In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the milk, buttermilk and melted butter. Set aside.
In a third bowl, beat the egg whites till stiff, but not dry. Sprinkle evenly with the sugar and beat until incorporated. Set aside.
Make the cheese sauce. Make a béchamel sauce by melting the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and blend with a whisk and cook for 1 minute. All at once, add the milk and whisk constantly until sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the grated cheese, season with salt, white pepper and a pinch each of nutmeg and cayenne. Return to the heat on the lowest setting and keep warm until serving. You may need to thin it a bit at the last minute.
Add the yolk and milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix well. Gently fold on 1/4 of the beaten whites to loosen the batter, then carefully fold in remaining whites.
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Spray the waffle iron (top and bottom) very lightly with cooking spray. Add about 1/2 cup of the batter and close the iron. When golden brown, remove the waffle and place directly on the rack in the oven. Continue making additional waffles until batter is used up, and putting each one in the oven to keep crisp.
Reheat sauce. Break each waffle into 4 pieces and stack on a warmed plate. Top with sauce and garnish with additional fresh herbs.