Rice waffles

Rice waffles

By
From
Deep South
Makes
4-6
Photographer
Andy Sewell

I learned about calas, the sweet rice fritters of New Orleans, way too late in life. There was a time in the South when the local economy was based predominantly on rice crops rather than cotton, when horse-drawn carriages could be seen around town, and young women called out ‘Calas!’ on the streets as they sold their wares.

These old-fashioned beignets have been replaced almost completely by flour-based versions. Traditionally calas were made from a delicious, yeasted dough. Because I love them so much, I adapted the recipe to the waffle iron and they now form the base of my breakfast of fried chicken and waffles. You can cook them as I do here, or make them into a dessert by dropping spoonfuls of the batter into a deep-fat fryer and cooking until golden. I like to dust these doughnuts with a ground fennel seed icing sugar, as a nod to the anise-tinted herb-saint liquor that New Orleans so dearly loves.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g long-grain rice
120ml warm water
10g fresh yeast
50g caster sugar
2 teaspoons caster sugar
300g plain flour
3 eggs

Method

  1. Cook the rice in 1 litre water at a rolling boil for 20 minutes, then drain. This should yield 375g overcooked rice. Cool slightly, then put the rice into a food processor with the warm water, yeast and 2 teaspoons of sugar and blend to a smooth paste. Leave this sponge for about an hour, until doubled in size.
  2. Transfer the sponge to a bowl, add the flour, the rest of the sugar and eggs and beat until smooth. Cover and leave to prove again for about an hour, until doubled in size. This batter will keep, covered, in the fridge for 2 days.
  3. Grease and heat a waffle iron. Fill with the batter and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I like to serve the waffles with sorghum syrup, or you can serve them alongside Southern Fried Chicken for a great breakfast.
Tags:
American
Southern cooking
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