So my sister has recently started doing the weekly Co-op delivery thingy where she gets a giant bag of whatever produce is in season; I’m so proud, it’s such a great thing for her! Well, except for the fact that she just passes off the entire bag to me every single week from her lack of time and will to actually do anything with them… which is great for me!
Though there is the challenge of trying to get through the entire bag each week… so many things I have to consider how to cook for the family. And then there’s the garlic scapes… so many garlic scapes… every single week.
Oh, for those who aren’t aware, I should probably explain. When growing, garlic has these long, curly green tops; when cut off, they look like this!
Weird, long, curly green snake thingies that are a little bitch to cut… but they taste so good, raw at least. As-is, they basically taste like a Ramp, which tastes like a LITERAL cross of garlic and onion (not the “supposed” cross that shallots are), strong and pungent in the best ways, but mild enough to consume. Either way, I’ve been tossing it in to soups, sautés, salads, frittatas, whatever I can find… cuz I keep getting the damn things! They won’t go away!
But either way. Been thinking of what to do with my last batch, and realized I haven’t made anything for the blog recently. And with the many fried items monopolizing the classic Street Food items, like the recent popularity of Beer-Battered Asparagus in various Trucks and Restaurants, like Starlight, deep-frying just seemed the way to go.
First step was, obviously, cutting these fellas down to size… it may be fun to see an entire thing fried, especially in a restaurant, but I don’t exactly have an industrial-sized pan for frying. Got the main stems and the curlies cut in two. Note: should cut off the long string/cone attached to the “bulb” at the end; there’s no real flesh or anything to it, just string and fiber.
Second, we need a batter; I love Tempura, but I didn’t have any club soda… and it’s not real street food if we don’t use some beer! Not to mention I have this giant batch of home-brewed Ginger (flavored) Beer that I haven’t found much use for…
See that G? It stands for “God Damn that’s a lot of F@%#in’ carbonation!” Well, that and Ginger… but really the former has held more true. Not exactly my best homebrew, but it works really well for things like this!
So, no specific recipe tonight, this batter was a wing-it. Flour, a bit of cornstarch (tempura-tradition), some salt and pepper seasoning as always. Pop the bottle and slowly add in the beer, or other carbonated beverage, until one gets the desired consistency; if too thick, add more, if too thin, get some more flour in there (what I had to do). Dip and fry.
Now, I sorta went for a “375F” degree for my frying temperature. Though if working with a small pot-fryer like me, which will easily drop 30-50 degrees (minimum) once adding in a bunch of things, I might suggest starting nearer to 400. Cook until batter gets that nice golden color to it. Transfer to paper towel-covered plate, sprinkle with some more salt and any other seasonings you desire.
And here we go, Beer-Battered Garlic Scapes! Now, as you can see, there can be quite a few sections where the batter just slides right off; normally I would say something like “just toss in flour before battering” or whatever to try and fix it, but these scape guy’s “skin” is just SMOOTH and slick, I doubt any flour would want to stick to it.
As for the result… taste is good, though MUCH milder than raw (the flavor tends to decrease a lot when one cooks this; which is why frying is sorta perfect, being so quick and minimal). They do tend to be very… I don’t want to say “stringy,” but something sorta similar… so it can be sorta odd trying to eat some of them. I would suggest 1 of 2 things; either blanch them beforehand, try to soften a bit. Or, even better (since I doubt that would really do anything), just cut the damn things smaller than I did. When not having a long piece to try and rip through with teeth, the unique texture is actually sorta fun and interesting.
Well, whether one wants to fry or do some garlic scape cookery, hopefully this post can help at least start on one’s path towards delicious! Good luck and good eating! Oh, and if anyone has any interesting Garlic Scape Experiences, do tell!
Look! It’s a Garlic Scape Funnel Cake!