I never get tired of making horrible puns in the titles of my blog posts. And today is no exception! I was at the farmers market a few days ago (yummy) and was perusing through a booth when I was informed of these lovely little green strings called garlic scapes. Garlic, but green and long? Say what? Well, since I'm a sucker for pretty much anything that has the word garlic in it, away I went with my little bag of them.
When I got home I figured I should probably do something with them. But what? A trip to Mr. Google revealed that scapes (the green shoot that comes up from garlic in the late spring) are a relatively new addition to most people's kitchens. They make great pesto (note to self for the future), steam well with other veggies, and are nice in stir fry. I figured they would go well with the snap peas I got at the market, so stir fry was decided, dinner was changed (from chicken with almonds) and into the pan they went.
The result? Well, first I tried them raw. Not so good. Great flavor, but really tough. So I sauteed them in my wok and gave them a bit of a quick pan roasting. I might have gone a bit too long on the flavor (they actually cook pretty quickly) and from now on Im treating them like green beans. But the flavor, oh the flavor was awesome. It's all the garlicky goodness without the big bite at the end. Even though the season is short, I plan on picking up some more of these tasty tendrils.
Spicy Chicken Stir-fry with Scapes and Snap Peas
1 pound chicken sliced thin
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chili paste with garlic
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup peanut oil
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 pound snap peas, ends trimmed
1/3 pound garlic scapes or scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil or hot sesame oil (optional)
Combine the egg, cornstarch, and salt until smooth. Add to chicken in bowl or bag, marinate for 30 minutes. Combine the sugar, sherry, soy sauce, chili paste, hoisin, and water in a small bowl or cup and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Oil should be shimmering, or about 375°F. Add the chicken, stir frying until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Pour off all but about 1 1/2 tablespoons oil (you can pour out the oil and refrigerate for another later use). Add the ginger and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the scapes and peas, stir frying for about 2 minutes or until just starting to soften (I actually like to cover them for about 30 seconds of this process). Add the sauce followed by the chicken and stir fry until the chicken is warmed through. Add the sesame oil if desired. Serve over rice. Serves 4