Two Ways To Use Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scapes? What the hell are they? Spell check doesn’t even recognize the word!

Well, I’d like to simplify it, and my farmer friends, please give me a pass on some of the botanical elementsA “scape” is the part of a garlic bulb that pushes through the dirt and then grows a stalk. These stalks will eventually flower so that said underground bulb can produce enough energy for the plant to reproduce via it’s flowers. Sounds lovely, right?

Well unfortunately for us foodies, that’s a load of shite. With garlic, as well as host of other veggies, as soon as the plant starts to “bolt” (the process of flowering above ground), the plant shifts energy from the bulb to the top of the plant in hopes it will sow it’s seeds. That transfer reduces the flavor in the bulb, but, isn’t that the thing we care most about! So in early summer garlic farmers walk down their fields and trim off the scapes, trapping all the plants energy in the bulb. What does that mean? Concentrating “Flavor Country” bitches!

So where does that leave the unwanted bi-product of the growing process? Garlic scapes have a flavor that of course is “garlicky,” albeit in a very toned-down way. Because they see some sun, they can also come across as what a “scallion” is to a whole onion, greener and a little more feisty. Damn you youth! (shaking fist rigorously)  The next time you see these curly, wiggly lookin’ green stalks at your farmer’s market or grocer, buy some. The following awesome recipes are a great way to showcase the flavors that this once cast-off has to offer.

GRILLED GARLIC SCAPE PESTO

3/4# Garlic Scapes, grilled & roughly chopped

3/4 C Walnuts, toasted

1 C Parmasean, grated

1 C Basil

1 C Olive Oil

Juice of small lemon

Salt

DIRECTIONS:

Combine scapes, walnuts & a 1/4 C of the oil in food processor, puree to a paste, scrapping down sides as needed. Add in basil and pulse until roughly chopped. With machine running slowly add in remaining EVOO. Once fully combined add in cheese and pulse to incorporate. Season with lemon juice & salt to taste.

PICKLED GARLIC SCAPES

1/2# Garlic Scapes, cleaned & cut into 2” pieces

7 Dried Thai Chilies (or Dried Chili De Arbol)

4 Bay Leaves

2 t Fennel Seed

1 t Whole Peppercorn

1 t Whole Coriander

1/2 t Whole Mustard Seed

1/2 C Sugar

3 T Salt

2 C Water

2 C Distilled White Wine Vinegar

Combine all ingredients except scapes in a pot and bring to boil, reduce to simmer until sugar & salt is dissolved. Meanwhile portion cut scapes between a quart and a pint jar. While pickling liquid is hot, pour over scapes, taking care to make sure the aromatics are split between both jars. Seal while hot.

Any questions or comments please feel to reach out to me. Unless that includes hate mail, then please contact my wife.

Cheers,

Chef Sean

Greek Honey Cake

Chef Sean Smith and I, besides helping others throw exciting dinner parties, like to throw dinner parties at our own home. He’s usually in charge of every course, but he asked me to make dessert for our Greek-themed party a few weeks ago. I searched through dozens of Greek dessert recipes looking for something without filo dough and for a dessert that I could make in a reasonable period of time as real estate is very valuable and limited in our tiny kitchen.

I found a Greek Honey Cake recipe on Allrecipes that I just loved and it’s definitely one we’ll make in the future for clients. Maybe next time I’ll remember to snap a photo before eating a piece as well!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch square or round baking dish.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and orange rind. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and the 3/4 cup of cane sugar. Add in the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Beat in the flour mixture alternatively with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.
  5. Stir in the walnuts.
  6. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before cutting.
  7. Drizzle honey over the top of cut pieces of cake and enjoy.

Rhubarb Pie

Chef Sean Smith is a fan of Martha Stewart’s recipes because they are easily multiplied. That essentially means she nails the ingredient ratios so if you’re making a double or triple batch of cookies, you can be confident that doubling or tripling her recipe will end up with something delicious. So, when I was tasked with making a pie for our clients, I went right to Martha.

The recipe starts by suggesting you make this pie the day before you plan to serve it, which is exactly what I did. I suggest you make your pie crust first and keep it cold in the refrigerator. Make your crumble topping second and keep it cold in the fridge as well until you’re ready to sprinkle it on top of the filling. Below you’ll find three sections: dough, filling, and crumble topping.

Ingredients for the Pie Dough:

  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cups cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 (or a little more if needed) ice water

The easiest way to make dough is to add the flour, sugar, salt, and butter to a food processor and give it a whirl. Then slowly add the ice water until it’s dough. Finish by forming it into a ball, wrap it in parchment paper, and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.

Ingredients for the Pie Filling:

  • All- purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 3/4 pounds (approximately 6 cups) rhubarb with the ends trimmed and cut crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt

Ingredients for Crumble:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons chilled butter

And now to make the pie! Here’s my pie before baking, just for reference.

  1. Place the pie dough on parchment paper and roll it out to fit in a 9 in pie pan. Fit the dough into the pan, trim/crimp your edges, and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 with the rack at the lowest level.
  3. Add the crumble ingredients to a bowl and mix until the butter is somewhat evenly distributed. Chill in the fridge until you reach step 5.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the rhubarb with sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  5. Pour filling into the pie crust, distribute it evenly, and sprinkle the crumble topping on top.
  6. Place pie pan on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. This is important as it will help clean up be a synch!
  7. Place your pie in the oven and lower it to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 1.5 hours and cool completely before serving.

Mother’s Day Private Chef Dinner

Chef Sean and I had the honor of cooking a three course dinner for clients to celebrate Mother’s Day this year in downtown Boulder. He was in charge of everything except the Rhubarb Pie, which I successfully put together the day before.

I set the table for four while he was busy cooking. The first course was delectable- Crab cakes with a watercress, mizuna, and apple salad and a champagne mustard vinaigrette.

Crab cakes with watercress and mizuna.

The second course was planned for the Texans visiting family in Boulder: Steak and potatoes.

Chef Sean Smith grills steaks at a client's home in Boulder.

Chef Sean made twice baked potatoes filled with pancetta, roasted garlic, parmesan, ricotta, and green onion served on top of sautéed spinach and chard from the Boulder Farmer’s Market. The steaks were topped with a relish of roasted peppers and pickled chilies (he pickled the chilies last summer during pepper season at the market).

Grilled steaks with pickled pepper relish, twice baked potatoes over sauteed greens.

We ended with my Rhubarb Pie.

It’s always fun cooking for hungry clients. Please let us know what we can cook for you!

Cheers~

Personal Chef Services

Hello Friends!

A Bolder Table started as a food blog in 2009. My goal was to compile my recipes in one place, and it’s evolved into a space where I express my thoughts on food, share recipes, talk about restaurants, and help promote my favorite local foodies.

When I started blogging, I had no idea I’d meet and marry a chef. After more than twenty years working in professional kitchens, Sean is making the leap to being a full time personal chef. We’re really excited to spend more time together, to stop eating dinner at 11:30pm after he returns home from work, and to help make other peoples’ lives easier and more delicious.

We’re now transitioning to a personal chef service, so our blog posts will soon migrate to the “blog” section. We’ll continue to fill them with easy to follow recipes and keep you updated on anything food-related we’re excited about here in Boulder and across the Front Range of Colorado. We’ll also keep you up to date on the delicious meals he’s making for some hungry locals.

We are happy to unveil our new personal chef services. Stay tuned for the updated website!

Cheers!

Megan & Sean

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