I spend most nights cooking dinner for myself and my parents. On average, I cook about 3-4 nights a week. So, it’s no wonder that I’m not really in the mood to cook over the weekend–if I can help it. That’s usually when mama takes over. This past memorial day weekend, my mom announced that she had something planned for breakfast. I was just expecting to make myself another amazing thin bagel with cream cheese to go with my tea. Little did I know that there was something amazing coming my way. I asked my mom what she was making and she said it was a surprise! SPOILER ALERT: She made Plantain Waffles with Spam and Cheese!
You might be wondering, what are plantain waffles and what makes them better than regular waffles? The batter is made with some ingredients that are in regular waffles as well. There’s flour, eggs and melted butter. However, the main ingredient in the batter–you guessed it!–is plantains. REAL plantains! As I’ve mentioned before plantains are like bananas but are not bananas. They’re lower in sugar content, but still sweet, and have a slightly starchy taste as well. You want to buy ripe plantains, ones with black spots–but not too many! It’s a fine line between ripe and rotten, ya know? Because plantains are starchy and sweet, it creates the perfect waffle batter. And depending on your waffle maker, it also gives it an ever-so-slightly creamy texture with a crunchy and light outside.
Now, let’s get to the important stuff–spam. I LOVE spam. I mean, I’m Filipino and as a group we loooovveee spam. When I was younger we would eat the spam a lot. We would have it on the side of our eggs, like bacon or sausage. Or we’d have them in sandwiches with mayonnaise and ketchup. If you’ve never had spam, then go out and buy one at your local grocery store now! It’s a canned meat made mostly of pork and some ham. When cooked, spam is salty and tender. It actually tastes like ham! I like to fry mine on both sides until it gets that nice crunchy edge. For this recipe, just chop up the spam and fold it into the plantain batter before cooking it in your waffle maker.
Together, they create plantain waffles with spam and cheese. What my mother and I discovered while experimenting with this recipe is that you want more spam than plantains. The plantain taste is really strong–so much so that it takes away from the other layers of flavor. Adding more spam actually lets you be able to taste it in conjunction with the delicious plantain batter. The saltiness in the spam also enhances the other flavors. The cheese pulls everything together and complements the other ingredients perfectly. By the way, you don’t need to eat this with syrup. In fact, don’t eat it with syrup. It’ll just cover all the goodness hidden within each bite.
Make no mistake, plantain waffles are a savory breakfast. It’s an all-inclusive meal. You get your side with each bite of waffle already built in, thanks to the spam. The plantains add more flavor and texture, but they can also make it feel a bit heavier. This meal is filling but once you’ve hadsome, you’ll just want more, because it’s that good! If you’re vegan, on a special diet, or looking to keep some weight off…this one isn’t yours. Sorry (but not that much). Sometimes you have to indulge in something, and if it’s in any meal, then why not breakfast? Every bit of these plantain waffles will awaken your taste buds! HA!
My mom is the master of experimenting with flavors and trying new things. I will admit that I tend to play it a bit safer. I got with what I know. But mom likes to be creative with these things, and they usually come out AMAZING. This is just another dish to add to the mix. If we ever get to open that Filipino brunch spot we like to dream about, this one would definitely be on the menu. Either way, I know the recipe for whenever I do get a craving. And hey, so do you!
What are some of your best food experiments that turned into great recipes? What do you think of these plantain waffles? I want to know how it goes!
Plantain Waffles with Spam and Cheese
- 5 large ripened plantains sliced
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 10 oz Spam chopped into small pieces
- 1 cup Mozarella cheese shredded
In a mixer, add the plantains, butter and brown sugar. Cream together until smooth. Add the egg and mix until incorporated.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Pour into the batter and mix until fully incorporated.
Using a spatula, fold in the spam pieces and cheese. Set the batter aside.
Heat your waffle maker and prep as necessary. Using a half-cup scoop, add the plantain batter and spread flat. Cover and cook as instructed by your waffle maker.
Plantain should be golden brown on both sides. Serve plain or with top with a little powdered sugar for extra sweetness. Enjoy!