M. Andrew Gordon

Waffles…with pork?

In Main Dish, Side Dishes on March 7, 2010 at 10:30 am

The tenderloin in the recipe is pictured on the bottom; the top tenderloin had a less robust rub on it.

For the third installment of the James Bond Movie Night that my brother and his fiancée have been hosting, where we would be watching Goldfinger, I felt compelled to bring along something interesting.  But the movie provided few clues about food consumed during the movie (and it’s one of the few Ian Fleming novels I either haven’t read or just don’t currently own).  There is a scene toward the beginning where Bond, M, and Colonel Smithers discuss gold over some “very disappointing brandy” but I couldn’t remember what their meal looked like.  And there is a scene where our dear boy Auric and his chauffeur-assassin Odd Job stop in the Alps (or some other European mountain range) and eat some local fruit.  Beyond that, the only culinary cue might be Colonel Sanders and his famous fried chicken getting a little product placement in the scenes in Kentucky.  Fried chicken just wasn’t going to happen given the limited time between work and dinner.

So, with those lackluster clues to work on, I decided to just go crazy, utilizing some good American elements: winter squash, waffles, and barbecue.  It can’t be very often that those three things find themselves in one meal but what I envisioned is this: a buttercup squash puree being worked into a waffle set atop the remaining squash puree and topped with grilled pork tenderloin and smoked whipped cream.

Surprisingly, it all worked.  The waffle carries just a subtle squash flavor which is heightened by the squash puree; the pork was standing in for fried chicken, and the whipped cream ties the pork and waffle together, both in flavor and in texture.

Squash Puree

  • 1 buttercup squash, roasted
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Squash-buttermilk Waffles

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup squash puree

Smoked Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke

For squash:

Scoop out flesh and place in medium saucepan.  Add buttermilk, salt, and honey and heat over medium-low heat.  Stir frequently and use a potato masher to create a smooth consistency.  Set aside.

For pork:

  1. Light grill over medium-high heat.
  2. Combine all spices in bowl and pat over tenderloin, working into meat.  This can be done a day or two ahead of time.
  3. Cook tenderloin, turning to allow the exterior to brown about two to three minutes.  Move to slightly lower heat and cook for an additional twelve minutes.  Remove from heat and let rest.
  4. Slice tenderloin in about ½ inch slices.

For waffles:

  1. Heat waffle iron and preheat oven to lowest setting.
  2. Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.  Stir or sift until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, melted butter, buttermilk, and squash.  Mix well.
  4. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until incorporated being careful not to overwork batter.  Let rest for five minutes.
  5. Cook waffles, about ½ cup of batter at a time, as per your waffle iron (I can’t help you here, sorry).
  6. When waffles cook, transfer them to oven to keep them from getting soggy.  Repeat with remaining batter.

For whipped cream:

In bowl of standing mixer, begin whipping cream at low speed.  Add maple syrup and liquid smoke.  Turn machine to medium and let run until peaks form in cream.  OR, combine all ingredients and use handheld mixer to whip cream.

Place ½ cup of squash puree on plate with waffle, top with a slice or two of pork and a dollop of the cream.  Drizzle with maple syrup, honey, or agave syrup as you see fit.

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