Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Socca is Delicious

I was lurking on Pinterest a few weeks ago (surprise, surprise), and saw a picture of chickpea pancakes. Chickpeas? Pancakes? Together? Whaaaaaa? I had never heard of such a thing, but I immediately started daydreaming about them. "Yeah," I told the cats, "we're making chickpea pancakes."

The recipe from Pinterest sounded... okay. But by then it was too late. I needed chickpea pancakes. NEEDED them. The wheat-allergic boyfriend was also pretty excited about the idea. So I went to google. 

This post by David Lebovitz talks about socca, a savory pancake that is a popular street food in Nice. FRENCH chickpea pancakes?! Holy shit. His recipe sounded so simple and delicious, but I knew I wanted a lot of flavor and some veggies in my pancakes, so I looked around a bit more and ended up combining parts of David's recipe with a few others I found online. I also added ground flax seeds and nutritional yeast because I'm obsessed with both at the moment.

Oh, and if you're wondering where to find chickpea flour, Whole Foods sells the Bob's Red Mill version, and most Indian and Arabic grocery stores sell it under the name besan.

So, I made some. I was curious to taste the difference between pan-fried and baked socca, so I split the prepared batter up and tried it both ways. Pan-fried was the definite winner. I blame the less-than-stellar baked batch on the crappy dollar store pizza pan I used. One day I'll have a giant cast iron pan. One day. *sigh*

Socca (Chickpea Pancakes)
Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free
Makes 6-8 8" pancakes if pan fried, 2-3 large pancakes if baked

1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
1 cup water
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 tablespoons nooch (nutritional yeast)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground cumin (start with less unless you really like cumin)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for your pan
2 chopped green onions (both white and green sections)
1/2 cup frozen peas (optional, but yummy)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover the bowl and let the batter sit for an  hour or two. Or use it immediately. INSTANT GRATIFICATION.

To Pan Fry: 
Stir batter. Drizzle a nonstick pan (I used an 8" pan) with a little olive oil (1/2 teaspoon-ish) and heat on medium until hot. 

Pour in 1/4 cup batter and use the measuring cup to spread to fill the bottom of the pan. Cook until the entire pancake is firm and starting to brown on the bottom, then flip and cook a few more minutes, until the other side starts to brown. 

Transfer onto a plate or wrap pancakes in foil to keep them warm. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper before serving.

To Bake:
Preheat oven to 400. Drizzle a pizza pan, baking sheet, or cast iron pan with 2-3 teaspoons olive oil (which is more than I used, and my socca stuck to my shitty pizza pan SO BAD). Stick the pan in the oven to preheat.

Once the oven is done warming up, take the HOT pan out of the oven and pour a semi-thin layer of batter onto the entire pan, smoothing with a spoon if you need to. It's okay if your batter looks pretty thin. Thin socca is delicious and browns faster.

Bake your socca until the edges start to brown, which is anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes, depending on your oven, pan, etc. Let the edges brown. Please. It's so good that way.

When it's done, remove your giant pancake from the oven, cut into pieces, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. We only sprinkled ours with salt because we're ghetto and didn't have pepper. 
Ghetto socca. Still delicious.

So, are you going to make socca, or what? You should. For breakfast, or lunch, or a snack. They kind of taste like a much milder falafel. They're yummy and filling and high in protein and fiber. Yeah, you should make these. Your colon will thank you (unless you're like me, but that's a whole 'nother blog post). 


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