11: Bibimbaffle — Will it Waffle?
This post begins with more than a healthy dose of skepticism.
Because I don’t believe it will.
I want to believe.
BUT I DON’T BELIEVE IT.
You see, I got burned by those “just take shredded hash browns and press them in a waffle iron, and then you have a beautiful crispy potato waffle” internet lies. You know those “expectation vs. reality” memes? I’ve lived them. I’ve cleaned total disasters out of my waffle iron, so while I was super excited to receive this cookbook several years ago from my sister, I have not attempted anything from it to this day.
The Assignment: Bibimbaffle from Will It Waffle? 53 Irresistible and Unexpected Recipes to Make in a Waffle Iron by Daniel Shumski
Before it was a cookbook, Will It Waffle? was a plucky and foodspirational blog called Waffleizer* that I enjoyed reading a whole hell of a lot. The blog itself appears to have been pulled — likely to drive sales to the actual book — but the cookbook captures the successful creations** found in the quest to answer the question. Writer Daniel Shumski is also the author behind Will It Skillet? and How to Instant Pot. This recipe, however is credited to a Matt Troost, who worked at an Italian restaurant. Hmmm. Nonetheless, let’s waffle some tasty Korean goodies because why not.
The Recipe (directly from the book, which… is a book):
Things to Note About the Recipe:
My biggest concern going into this recipe was that damn rice waffle. It was just being pressed together with nothing to help bind it but heat and its own sticktuitiveness? AND with veggies pressed inside? My skepticism leans heavily on the kitchen table.
I happened to have some leftover bibimbap veggies left over from a platter I got from my favorite family grocer (shout out to Farm Boy in Sherman Oaks!), so that was taken care of. And yeah, I used brown rice instead of white, because that’s what I had. It didn’t call for any specific kind of white rice, like sticky or short grain, so I figured it was all good.
But then HOLD UP. One of the notes (in the redacted area) says “the rice may not come out in one piece — that’s not a problem.” Wait. SAYS WHO? Says you? Why didn’t you work on the recipe so that it DID stay together? You just tried it this way, found it didn’t really hold together, and then were like “meh, I’ll make a note and own up to it so no one can call me out when it doesn’t work for them”? NO SIR. Quote: “Pick out the best piece and leave it uncovered. Hide the other pieces under the kimchee, vegetables, or egg. No one needs to know.”
So I’m now going into making this recipe HAVING BEEN TOLD IT’S PROBABLY NOT GOING TO WORK BUT HEY IT’S OK.
Why am I even trying? Why are any of us even trying? Why is anyone trying to make anything good in this world and taking pride in their work if we can just be like “NBD, it’s fine” knowing that we could have done more to make our work better but just didn’t.
“Dana, might you be overreacting?”
YEAH MAYBE but we’re just gonna have to see how this Bibimbaffle comes out first before we know for sure.
*smash cut to 30 minutes later*
Sometimes it’s really frustrating being right about everything, people.
Expectations vs. reality:
How did it taste?
I mean, it tasted fine. Those ingredients are basically always going to taste good together. That’s not the challenge of this recipe. That’s not what makes this recipe unique. What makes it unique is that it’s supposed to hold together as a fucking waffle AND IT DOES NOT. I got the tricky bastard out of the pan by carefully flipping it onto a plate — had I attempted to lift it, the situation would have been laughable. It’s not a waffle. It never was a waffle. It did not waffle. The edges got crispy, but not in, like, an appetizing way. In a hard-rice way. And upon hitting the plate, the rice lost any semblance of waffledom. But hey, cover it with toppings, and it’s all good, right? NOPE. My waffle iron was completely immaterial to the end result I consumed. I feel bad for having wasted its time.
Would I make this again?
I was gonna just be snarky and write “NOPE” again here, leaving it at that. But it’s not that I wouldn’t make this again; I’d just make it RIGHT. I know so many ways off the top of my head that I could use to potentially fix this recipe. And I’m really mad that nobody tried any of them prior to the publishing of this book.
Do I recommend this cookbook?
You know what? I don’t. I try to be diplomatic and positive and give these books the benefit of the doubt. But based on this recipe, I don’t trust the other recipes. (Clock it, folks; Dana just ran out of fucks to give for the week. And it’s Monday.)
What’s the next recipe I want to make from this book?
The simple Buttermilk Cornmeal Waffles. Because I need to make it up to my waffle iron and use it to make actual goddamn waffles instead of using it as my experiment machine every few years. Waffle iron: I’m so sorry. So that’s the one I’d choose. Maybe. Probably not though.
It’s alright though. It’s fine. At least this wasn’t an hours-long project that failed in the end. At least I didn’t have high hopes that got dashed. And you know what — next week, I’m going back to baking, now that we’re safely out of the summer swelter.
This one may not have been pretty, but it’s still one damn recipe I hadn’t made before.
* This came on Pandora while I was running this week, and now it’s in my head but with the word “Waffleizer” instead
** OR DOES IT