Recipe Sleuth: Cashion’s Cornmeal Waffles With Strawberries

The sous chef at this cozy Adams Morgan restaurant put a spin on your typical Sunday-morning wakeup. For a fresh topping, pick up a pint of strawberries at the farmers market.

Photograph by Erik Uecke

When chef Sarah Smith put waffles on the brunch menu at Cashion’s Eat Place eight years ago, she wanted an unconventional twist on a standard dish. A cup of masa harina—finely ground corn flour often used to make tortillas—did the trick. The ground cornmeal gives the waffles an added crunch that pairs nicely with smooth, macerated summer strawberries, maple syrup, and a dash of powered sugar.

Thankfully, you don’t need to empty your wallet for an expensive Belgian waffle maker or search hard for masa harina: Smith says she uses a machine from Target, and the corn flour is available at most supermarkets in the Hispanic-foods aisle. All that’s missing: fresh mimosas.

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Cashion’s Cornmeal Waffles With Strawberries
Serves 8

1 pint of strawberries, halved or quartered
2 tablespoons plus 3 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 cups flour
1 cup masa harina
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs, separated
2¼ cups milk
½ cup cream
9 tablespoons melted butter
Suggested garnishes: maple syrup and powdered sugar

Mix the strawberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl. Cover and let stand at least 30 minutes, or up to 6 hours in the fridge, so the strawberries release some of their juices.

In a medium-size bowl, sift together the flour, masa harina, baking powder, 3 teaspoons sugar, and salt.

In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the milk, cream, and melted butter until smooth. Set the egg whites aside.

Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry.

With a stand or hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, starting on medium speed and going to high as the air is incorporated. Gently fold them into the rest of the batter, which should be slightly more solid than a thick milkshake.

Set a waffle maker to medium-high heat. Pour in the batter and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Top with the strawberry mixture, and if desired, maple syrup and powdered sugar.

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.