If you've ever made a meal, you know about the tiny slice of lemon peel and the seedy chili pepper tops and the leftover hunks of produce that seem too small to save.
They're all kitchen scraps, the still-edible but typically tiny items that get pushed to the edge of the counter as we focus on completing the culinary task at hand. Kitchen scraps, as a rule, often meet the garbage disposal at night's end, but that is definitely not the cast-off case at Wildcraft, which is rethinking these still-flavorful peels and stems in a fresh way.
The Culver City eatery is throwing a daily "Scrappy Hour" menu that incorporates those piquant bits and bobs that remain on the cutting board, post-meal making. Nope, the drinks and dishes on the menu aren't comprised entirely of scraps, but scraps do make lively cameos, here and there.
Look to the Sweet Pea, a libation made from sugar snap pea vodka, egg whites, mint, and lemon. Where do the scraps play a role? In the vodka, which has been infused with discarded pea shells.
The Riptide gets spicy courtesy of Fresno chili tops. Correlejo tequila lends the kick, and cilantro and pineapple, too, but those chili parts that cooks usually send to the trash are the fiery stars of the drink. Ponder, as you sip, if you always cut all the chili "meat" off the stem 'n seeds before you're done with the pepper. A lot of fine chili is still attached, quite often.
And the Brussel Sprouts Chips are salty bites made with flash-fried outer leaves, the kind that often get pulled off a sprout and thrown into the sink.
Ready to rethink the humble role of the scrap in cookery? And if those tiny tidbits are actually capable of a bit of heavy lifting, flavor- and fun-wise?
Scrappy Hour is on daily at the Culver Boulevard restaurant. Weekend hours are 4 to 6, weekday hours are 4 to 7.