Egg shortage? Try savory waffles
Morphing an omelet into a waffle.
Omelet stations are a particularly popular breakfast option among Texas Tech University’s 37,000 students, says Dewey McMurrey, executive chef of operations at the Lubbock, Texas, school. But during the second half of 2015, when avian flu hit chicken farms and led to a severe egg shortage, he had to make a change. “We still had to offer omelets, but we started pushing students toward waffles with omelet flavors,” he says.
- McMurrey specs pasteurized shell eggs for the 40 campus dining venues he oversees. “When the egg price tripled, we had to create an alternative to four-egg omelets,” he says. He and his team developed a bacon-cheddar waffle that mimics the flavors of one of the college’s best-selling omelets but uses only one egg per waffle.
- To speed prep, the waffles start with a mix—a blend of wheat and corn flours and malted barley extract. Kitchen staff adds buttermilk to make the batter, which can be made ahead, then incorporates pieces of cooked bacon, scallions and shredded cheddar cheese in the same proportions that go into the omelets.
- Developing a savory waffle batter enabled McMurrey to extend waffles to all-day breakfast at nine locations, adding heartier toppings such as fried chicken. Build-your-own options also are going strong, McMurrey says: “We developed a spiced apple topping to customize both savory and sweet waffle creations, and it’s doing well.”