Midday Fix: Chef Jill Houk makes waffles grapefruit soda

Jill Houk

To purchase a copy of the book:

The Complete Soda Making Book: From Homemade Root Beer to Seltzer and Sparklers, 100 Recipes to Make Your Own Soda

Waffles

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt, preferably a natural salt like kosher or sea salt
2 Tbs sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, safflower, or sunflower seed oil
1 1/2 cups club soda
pan spray (optional)

Directions:
Pre-heat your waffle iron using manufacturer’s directions. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients until well blended. In a separate bowl, beat egg with canola oil. Slowly add club soda and stir just to combine. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, taking breaks if the mixture bubbles too much. Once you have added all wet ingredients, stir with a wooden spoon until barely mixed, about 5-10 stirs. You may still see lumps of flour within the waffle batter. Spray the surface of waffle iron with pan spray, if manufacturer’s instructions recommend doing so. Pour 3/4 cup of waffle batter onto waffle maker. Cook waffle according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve with fruit and/or syrup.

Grapefruit Soda

Makes 2 cups syrup, enough to flavor 2 quarts or 2 liters carbonated water

Ingredients:
2 quarts plus 1 cup water, divided
2 whole grapefruits (any variety you like—pink, white, yellow, or ruby red)
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt, preferably a natural salt like kosher or sea salt
1 pinch dried rosemary
juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions:
Carbonate 2 quarts water with your soda maker, following the manufacturer’s directions. Chill on ice or in the refrigerator until cold, about 20 minutes on ice or 1 hour in the fridge. Using a peeler, remove zest from grapefruit, ensuring you remove only the colored part and leave the white behind. Place zest into a small saucepot. Juice grapefruit into a storage container, straining out seeds. Store in refrigerator. Add remaining water, sugar, salt, and rosemary to pot. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 20 minutes. Strain into storage container. Stir in reserved grapefruit juice and lemon juice. Cool in refrigerator until completely chilled, about 4 hours. To make grapefruit soda, place ¼ cup syrup into a glass. Add 1 cup chilled carbonated water. Stir gently. Add ice, if desired, and serve.

Tips on making the perfect soda:

Cold is the key! Carbonate cold water, then return it to the fridge (or put on ice). Add cold syrups or juices to the water. This keeps your drink as fizzy as you like!

To help bubbles form in your soda, add a pinch of salt.

Always test syrups mixed into sparkling water. Tasting the syrups on their own will only give you a rough idea of what a soda will taste like when it’s done. Carbonation amplifies some flavors, softens others.

Label your soda syrups when you store them, along with the ratio of syrup to sparkling water. This makes it easy to grab a syrup and make up a batch of soda.

For parties, make double or triple batches of syrup so that you have enough tasty drinks on hand.

Never use your at-home carbonator to recarbonate flat soda. This will introduce sugar into the system, which can bring bacteria that will contaminate sodas you make in the future. Instead, over-carbonate some water and add a little to flat soda. If the soda is beyond repair, use it as a marinade or in a glaze.

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