When Michael Mina was a boy, his parents used to take him to the now-defunct Four Seasons hotel in Seattle for Christmas brunch, where he always ordered waffles. "They were dynamite," he recalls. This recipe is as close to the one of his childhood as he could get it. Cornmeal makes the waffles crispy; ricotta keeps them moist.
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for serving
Pure maple syrup, for serving
Crisp bacon strips, for serving
Heat an 8-inch square waffle iron and preheat the oven to 200°. In a large bowl, whisk the ricotta with the milk, egg yolks and sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients into the ricotta mixture until combined. Stir in the melted butter.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the waffle batter until no streaks remain.
Coat the waffle iron with vegetable-oil spray and spoon about 1 1/2 cups of the batter onto the waffle iron. Close and cook until the waffles are golden and crisp. Serve the waffles immediately or transfer them to a rack in the oven to keep warm. Serve the cornmeal waffles with melted butter, maple syrup and crisp bacon.