This is Amanda Cohen, chef at the über-popular NYC restaurant Dirt Candy. Her superpower is that she can make vegetarian food taste like actual heaven.
VEGETARIAN FOOD: You know, like waffles topped with eggs and cheese! No bacon required. Cohen came to the BuzzFeed test kitchen to show us how she makes this life-changing breakfast mashup.
Officially the dish is called the Canadian Cracker, and Cohen discovered it at the now-defunct Royal Canadian Pancake House. (A mini-chain that existed, oddly, only in New York City and Miami and closed in 1998.) Cohen put it on the menu at Dirt Candy, which started serving brunch in mid-September. "Eggs, cheese, carbs — that's what people want," she says.
Cohen's version is a single (large) serving of waffles, eggs, and a ton of cheese, but in her memory, the original was "a giant waffle with, I don't know, 18 fried eggs on it? And just mounds and mounds of cheese."
It's the perfect breakfast for when you can't decide between sweet and savory. And for when you want mounds of cheese.
Here's how to make the Canadian Cracker at home.
1. First, make your waffles: Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then whisk them together.
2. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate large* mixing bowl.
*We goofed and used a medium mixing bowl, which meant that chef had to very carefully whisk everything together. It worked fine, but you're probably better off just using a bigger bowl.
3. Carefully pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
4. Then, use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
CHEF'S TIP: The less you mix your batter, the fluffier the waffles will be.
5. Spray a waffle iron with nonstick spray, preheat it, then pour the batter into the iron, making sure to spread it into the corners.
6. Repeat until all the batter is cooked. The yield will be 8 small waffles.
7. To fry the eggs, heat a little bit of olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-low heat, crack 2 eggs in, and cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny.
8. When the eggs are cooked, it's time to assemble. Put 2 waffles together on a baking sheet, then top with 2 fried eggs.
9. Now, the most important part: Add SO MUCH CHEESE.
10. Bake in a 375°F oven, just until the cheese is melted.
You can separate the finished waffles if you want, but all that cheese will definitely get in your way.
11. To add a little color — and, you know...vegetables — Amanda made a quick salsa of chopped tomatoes, chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, and salt.
To be clear: This garnish was delicious, but waffles topped with fried eggs and smothered with cheese would probably taste good all on their own, if you aren't feeling vegetables in the morning.
12. Garnish with the salsa and a little sour cream, and devour immediately.
The Canadian Cracker
Makes 4 servings
Recipe by Amanda Cohen
For the waffles:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, beaten
For the assembly:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for frying the eggs
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
Sour cream, for garnish
For the waffles:
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. In a second large mixing bowl, combine the milk, butter, vanilla, and eggs, and whisk to combine. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, then pour in the wet ingredients. Use a wooden spoon or a spatula to gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, just until the batter is combined and lumpy. Do not overmix.
Preheat a waffle iron and coat with nonstick spray. Pour in the waffle batter and cook according to the manufacturer's directions. Repeat until all of the waffles are cooked. The recipe should yield 8 small waffles.
For the assembly:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Arrange the cooked waffles on two baking sheets in clusters of 2 (to make 4 servings).
To fry the eggs, heat about a teaspoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and crack 2 eggs into the pan. Cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, 2 to 3 minutes. Slide both eggs on top of a pair of waffle on the baking sheet, then repeat with the remaining eggs, until each pair of waffles is topped with 2 fried eggs.
Sprinkle the cheese on top of the eggs on the waffles, then bake in the preheated oven just until the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, stir together the tomato, parsley, minced garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a pinch of kosher salt.
Serve immediately, garnished with the salsa and a dollop of sour cream.