The original version of this recipe calls for fresh peas, but I used frozen instead. If you choose to use frozen, I recommend buying the kind labeled “petite peas,” which tend to be smaller and sweeter. If you think of it, try to defrost them slightly before using them here. But if not, just bang the bag around on the counter to break up any big clumps.
Melt about half of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook slowly to soften. Do not allow to brown. Add the peas, stir to combine, and then add the remaining butter. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender and sweet, about 10 minutes. Add the prosciutto, and stir to mix. Then turn off the heat, cover the skillet, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Taste, and season as needed.
Yield: about 4 side-dish servings
This recipe uses dry yeast, which is often sold as “active dry” yeast. It’s different from instant yeast (often sold as “rapid rise”), so be careful not to confuse the two, even though the packaging often looks similar.
Most waffle recipes work in any kind of waffle maker, but I get the sense that this one is intended for use on a standard (not Belgian) waffle maker. Mine is Belgian-style, and the batter was a bit too thin to really fill it properly. It wasn’t a biggie – they still taste great, and they’re pretty on one side, at least – but just, you know, FYI.
Pour the water into a large mixing bowl. (The batter will rise to double its volume, so keep that in mind when you choose the bowl.) Sprinkle the yeast over the water, and let stand to dissolve for 5 minutes.
Add the milk, butter, salt, sugar, and flour, and beat until well blended and smooth. (Electric beaters do a nice job of this.) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it stand overnight at room temperature.
Before cooking the waffles, preheat a waffle maker. Follow your waffle maker’s instruction manual for this, but my guess is that you’ll want to heat it on whatever setting is approximately medium-high. My waffle maker has a heat dial that runs from 1 to 7, and I turned it to 5. My waffle maker is nonstick, so I didn’t grease it, and Marion Cunningham doesn’t call for greasing it, either.
Just before cooking the waffles, add the eggs and baking soda, and stir to mix well. The batter will be very thin. Pour an appropriate amount of batter into your hot waffle maker: this amount will vary from machine to machine, and you should plan to use your first waffle as a test specimen. Cook until golden and crisp.
Yield: depends on the size and configuration of your waffle iron
This recipe in its original form calls for dipping the bread in butter. On both sides. I tried it, and the bread got so saturated that it sort of terrified me. There was a LOT of butter in that little piece of bread. I found that brushing on the butter is a more moderate, palatable approach, and it still works very well. Either way, you’re going to use quite a bit of butter, and please don’t freak out about that. If it helps, keep reminding yourself that this is not breakfast; this is a cookie. Make it your mantra.
Also, the original version of the recipe calls specifically for Pepperidge Farm white bread. My grocery store didn’t have any, so I used Franz brand “Milk and Honey” bread instead. Whatever brand you use, make sure that it’s not too squishy and spongy. The quantities of butter and cinnamon sugar listed below should be pretty close to perfect for six slices of sandwich bread, but if you have extra butter or sugar, just use more bread.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. If you want, line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil. It makes cleanup easier.
Put the butter into a pie plate or similar baking dish. Slide the dish into the oven, and keep an eye on it. You’re looking for the butter to melt completely.
Stack the slices of bread, and then cut them diagonally into quarters. You should have 24 triangles.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. Turn the cinnamon sugar out onto a dinner plate, or another pie plate.
When the butter is melted, remove it from the oven, and brush it onto both sides of a triangle of bread. Don’t be shy: apply the butter generously, so no spot is left uncoated. The bread should feel a little heavy in your hand. Dip the bread into the cinnamon sugar, taking care to coat both sides. Lay it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pieces of bread.
Bake the toasts for about 25 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer to a rack. The toasts will crisp as they cool. When cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Note: These taste best with a little age. When I tasted them on the day they were made, they were just okay, but by the next day, the flavors had come together nicely.
Yield: 24 pieces