Back in May I'd put up a post about Scallion Pancakes – specifically, Scallion and Red Onion Pancakes, which seemed to go over pretty well.
Over the summer I've made scallion pancakes a few more times (including yesterday), and at one point I even took pictures, planning to write about the variations I did that day.
And I never wrote the post. I had the pictures – well most of them. I just never did that "ta-da!" picture of the finished dish.
Anyway, with this batch I got as far as cooking a couple in the oiled pan – and that was it. Once they got going I must have put the camera down so I could fry them up, place on a towel to drain, fry more, and get dinner on the table.
That's the reality around here – we eat.
And my kitchen doesn't always have the right lighting for those final product pictures…and no, I haven't been organized enough to set up a lightbox with a variety of backgrounds, either. If I did, my kids would probably turn it into a cave for their little plastic cave-dwelling toy animals. Or Alex might turn it into that ice cave on Hoth, where Luke was hung upside-down by the Wampa until he used the force to pull his light saber out of the snow and free himself and one of the Wampa's arms before crawling across the freezing tundra and being visited by the ghost of Obi Wan and told to go to the Dagobah system…and then Han comes galloping in on a Tauntaun to save the day.
That's what would happen to my lightbox. Probably. But I won't know til I construct one. Or some sort of makeshift studio.
But for now – I have a kitchen that faces north-west. So the lighting is sometimes good, sometimes not.
And that's no excuse, so I'll just shut up about THAT.
Anyway, I made two variations on scallion pancakes on June 9th. One had chopped up broccoli florets instead of scallions, because Alex doesn't like onions, but he likes broccoli. I thought it was a guaranteed hit, but no – he didn't like the broccoli pancakes either. Ah well. Win some, lose some.
The other variation utilized garlic scapes, which came from our very own garlic plants. The scape is kind basically a flower stem. At the end is a skinny bulby thing that looks vaguely like a flower bud or a rocket ship or a spear. Only green. You cut this off the garlic while it's still young and tender, and you cook it up in any one of a number of ways. You can saute them or steam them, toss them in pasta, slice them up and use them like you would garlic…use them on pizza or foccaccia (which I think I've done) or hey, dip them in chocolate. Who knows, it might be good!
I think they're pretty.
I started slicing them up cross-wise, like I would with scallions,
but I left the thick part of the pointy bud part intact.
And then I sliced those in half length-wise.
Aren't they cool?
Especially a couple of those, up on the top left part of the image.
Let's turn the board so we can get a closer look…
Don't be afraid – they don't bite…
There. Isn't that interesting? All those little things in there that look like mushrooms…pale, pale green enoki mushrooms, sort of. And that little curly thing happening inside the one on the right…gorgeous.
Okay, back to the pancakes.
Once I'd gotten everything chopped and the dough made (actually I probably made the dough before I started chopping, since the dough has to sit for half an hour after you make it), it was time to mix the two oils used to brush the surface of the rolled-out dough.
And could I please say "dough" a few more times in that sentence? I don't think I used the word nearly enough.
The oils are canola oil (I just used whatever vegetable oil I had in a big plastic jug) and sesame oil.
I love sesame oil.
And I especially love how the oils look when you pour one into the other:
I could have stared at that for hours, but there was still work to be done.
I don't have pictures of the rolling up of the pancake dough and the various ingredients. For the step-by-step part, you can go to the original post.
I did, however, have a lovely assistant this time. Julia helped me roll out the spirals of dough into pancakes. I showed her what to do, and after a bit of practice, she was on it completely while I did the cooking.
And no, that's not her glass of wine.
Look at the skill!
She was a really big help that night. I think, judging by the number of pancakes, that I probably had doubled the dough recipe, too.
Anyway, here's my one and only picture of some of the pancakes cooking. These are broccoli ones.
And that's it.
That's it for the photos. No big finish. No mouth-watering food-porn image. No visual crescendo.
Just…well, the garlic scape ones were wonderful. The broccoli ones were fine…but I think members of the onion/garlic families taste best.
And that's the end of this little saga.